I, TONYA (15)
D: Craig Gillespie
Neon/Clubhouse/Luckychap (Tom Ackerley, Margot Robbie, Steven Rogers & Bryan Unkeless)
W: Steven Rogers
DP: Nicolas Karakatsanis
Ed: Tatiana S. Riegel
Mus: Peter Nashel
Margot Robbie (Tonya Harding), Sebastian Stan (Jeff Gillooly), Allison Janney (Lavona Golden), Julianne Nicholson (Diane Rawlinson), Caitlin Carver (Nancy Kerrigan)
I, Tonya takes a unique approach to its source material, almost embracing a mockumentary-style to present this biopic of Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding and her huge controversial career and the scandal surrounding the 1994 Winter Olympics.
The film opens with the cast members delivering documentary-style interviews and repeatedly breaks the fourth wall with its deliverance of differing versions of the truth, headed by Margot Robbie with her career-best performance.
Coming from an unprivileged background and lacking the money to enhance her career, Tonya Harding had to make it on talent alone, but in a sporting discipline where competitors were also judged on presentation, she was always going to find it an uphill struggle, especially when her competition used classic music in their routines while "Trashy Tonya" stuck with rock & roll and film soundtracks.
Nevertheless, Tonya Harding was a talented athlete, and for a brief moment, was the United States biggest hope for Olympic Gold... until her position was usurped by rival Nancy Kerrigan, whose chances of making the 1994 Olympics were put on standby when an assailant hired by Harding's husband attacked her during a practice session. A vicious attack which Tonya Harding has always denied pre-knowledge Of and the film unfolds in a way for the viewer to make up their own mind whether she's guilty of involvement.
Margot Robbie is absolutely brilliant in the title role, but it has to be said that she's upstaged at every turn by Allison Janney as her abusive, potty-mouthed mother. All the other performances are fine, but a lot of credit also belongs to the director, writer and especially the editor who seamlessly blends VFX and stunt doubles for the exhilarating skating scenes.
A huge breakthrough film for an up-and-coming production company.