Now that the winter Olympics are done, it is interesting to look back at the controversies and scandals that have come from the age-old sporting event. “I, Tonya” tells one of these stories in a powerful, yet delicate manner without glorifying events to persuade the audience.
Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) is an American girl who spent most of her life training in ice skating. Since the age of four, Tonya devoted her life to skating, leaving her education to focus more on the sport. Growing up with an abusive mother and falling for an abusive boyfriend, she struggles to create balance in her life. Tonya eventually climbs through the ranks, reaching a peak through many rises and falls when a huge scandal befalls her after an attack happens to fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan (Caitlin Carver), leaving Tonya as a suspect.
The story that surrounds Tonya’s journey to and removal from the podium as well as her family life is thoroughly interesting. Watching her struggle to find herself as the judges want her to become a picture-perfect American girl, all while having to claw past a family that beats her down, is empowering.
What’s even more interesting is hearing the story from the other side, as most people only had the media to form their opinions. The movie doesn’t try to persuade the audience of what is true, it simply shows what Tonya and her family says is true.
Nominated for three Oscars, including Best Film Editing, Margot Robbie for Best Actress and Allison Janney for Best Supporting Actress for her role as LaVona Harding. Robbie and Janney deserve their nominations for their fantastic and uninhibited performances.
Sebastian Stan, best known for playing Bucky Barnes in Marvel movies, gives a great performance as Jeff Gillooly, Tonya’s abusive husband. Paul Walter Hauser also deserves some recognition for his portrayal of Shawn Eckhardt, Jeff’s delusional friend who believes he is a counter-terrorism expert.
While the movie tends to take its time explaining all the intricate parts of the story, it does a great job of defining all the characters and making moments feel important, rather than just boring information before the good parts. Plus, the transitions between time periods and scenes are done interestingly enough to keep the audiences entertained rather than an abrupt skip.
“I, Tonya” is both a well-made and well-acted film, and an interesting look back into one of the Olympics’ most talked about scandals. This movie deserves all the awards and nominations it has received.