TIFF Review: Margot Robbie Is A Human Dynamo As Tonya Harding In The Excellent ‘I, Tonya’

Senior Entertainment Writer
09.09.17 3 Comments

TIFF

As it turns out, Margot Robbie makes a pretty fantastic Tonya Harding: I, Tonya is now the darling of the Toronto International Film Festival. (And right now is the hottest title currently without distribution, so expect a pretty competitive bidding war to break out. This movie is going to be huge.)

It’s fascinating how many under a certain age don’t know anything about the incident that occurred between Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan before the 1994 Winter Olympics. Heck, even Margot Robbie didn’t realize Harding was a real person until after she read the script. The story is just that insane.

Directed by Craig Gillespie (who directed Lars and the Real Girl and the underrated The Finest Hours) and written by Steven Rogers (Love The Coopers), I, Tonya is an often hilarious and always tragic look at the life of Tonya Harding – who, frankly, put up with a lot of shit in her life from a lot of terrible people. I, Tonya isn’t here to exonerate Harding, but it does paint a picture of a beleaguered life, interlaced with just the right amount of biting dark comedy and well-timed breaking of the fourth wall.

I, Tonya is framed around contemporary interviews with the key participants in the 1994 attack on Nancy Kerrigan’s right knee, which provides talking heads commentary as the events unfold throughout the film. Those key participants are Harding (Robbie); her former husband, Jeff Gilooly (Sebastian Stan, who is fantastic); and Harding’s mother, LaVona (Allison Janney, who just entered the Best Supporting Actress race in a big way if this movie is released this year).

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