I, Tonya is not what I expected. I thought it was going to be an Oscar-driven serious-incident-happening kind of shebang. But it’s more of a mockumentary. Which works, actually. They’ve taken a different stance and ran, or skated (sorry couldn’t resist) full steam ahead with it.
Margot Robbie stars as Tonya Harding; former American figure skater known best for her ‘white trash’ label, troubled home life and alleged involvement in an incident where her competitor got bludgeoned in the leg before she and Harding were to take part in the Olympics together. Here, Robbie is a bit like Charlize Theron in Monster. And I mean in terms of looks. She’s quite unrecognisable. Her hair is frizzy and she’s caked with 90s-style cheap make-up. Except it’s not like Charlize Theron. Or Ryan Gosling in La La Land. This didn’t seem quite like your average i’ll-take-on-everything-the-character-did kind of vibes. And i’m calling this because of the heavy CGI and the prosthetic extra weight. So we can’t go too full board with her taking on the character. But give her a break. How could anyone possibly try to replicate those olympic routines?!
But the film is unique. And there are some nice comic moments which provide relief. Especially when the events happening are pretty harrowing. If this domestic abuse actually took place in Tonya Harding’s life, then it’s bloody awful. The relationship with her mother? The absent father? The husband who was charged with hiring a hit man and subsequently ruined her career. The husband who hit her? Who constantly shouted at her? Jeeeez.
Watch it if you want to learn a bit about the past. Because it’s based on a true story and I had no idea about these events (why should I – it’s pretty niche after all). And watch it if you want to see Robbie back to her old tricks. Because she’s bloody brilliant in every role. So is Alison Janney who plays her difficult-to-find-any-redeeming-features mother. It has the Oscar nods and everything. And, you know, there’s this thing called the Winter Olympics happening at the moment. So it makes for a nicely timed release.
Question is; could I rival those ice queens? (Ice skating at Christmas with a million other people didn’t really count, did it.)