Wednesday, 24 January 2018

I, TONYA

Competitive ice skater Tonya Harding rises amongst the ranks at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but her future in the activity is thrown into doubt when her ex-husband intervenes.

Margot Robbie transforms herself for her role as Tonya Harding in this quirky telling of a true story. She's not always convincing but mostly pulls it off. Allison Janney, who plays Tonya's mother, is another standout performance -- perhaps the best in the movie. The story draws on real interviews with the people involved. And it's just as well because the story is bizarre. It's also a tragic story. The script navigates its way between black comedy and tragedy which, for me, detracted from the gravity of the story, particularly the abuse that Tonya experienced from her mother and husband. The movie feels way too cartoonish. There's nothing very funny about what happened to Tonya, and I wonder at the motives of the filmmakers trying to wring comedy from the story. I also disliked the way some of the characters break the fourth wall and talk directly to the audience which completely ruins the tone of the movie. It felt like the director was trying to be smart, but it didn't work for me. It's all a bit of a chaotic mess and comes across as a condescending judgment of people who are caught in tragic circumstances.


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