January 17, 2018

I, Tonya Review

Margot Robbie

You probably have not thought of former world champion figure skater Tonya Harding in years. The sharp new biopic from Lars and the Real Girl director Craig Gillespie not only brings her back into the limelight but will make you feel sorry for her… a little bit. Aussie Margot Robbie channels her inner Jaime Pressly as Harding, the tough, brassy figure skater whose abuse by her mother, Lavona Golden (a biting Allison Janney, who poses a serious challenge to Laurie Metcalf’s Oscar opportunity), and eventual husband, Jeff Gillooly (a wonderfully unrecognizable Sebastian Stan), complicates her status as an all-time Olympic villain. Viewers will be entertained by the entire spectacle of I, Tonya, though the film will not likely be remembered for more than its award-worthy acting. The biopic is powered by its dueling mother and daughter, who deserve every accolade they compile, but Paul Walter Hauser’s subtle stupidity as Gillooly’s dim accomplice, Shawn Eckhardt, is the unanticipated reward for watching. I, Tonya lands its darkly comic, ripped-from-the-tabloids triple axel, with more grace than its thorny anti-hero.