"I, Tonya" has a trailer



Given the incredible word of mouth from TIFF, it’s a no-brainer decision to have Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya released this year for potential awards, especially when it comes to Margot Robbie and Allison Janney's performances. I wasn't sure what to make of the film initially but then I re-watched it and then it grabbed me. This is not a film that will break new ground, it is an entertaining take on a wild true story and, in some twisted way, I see it as a sure-fire crowd-pleasure, despite the lack of any characters with redeemable traits. Hell, I think the most likable character in this film is probably Tonya.

Here's what I wrote about the film at TIFF:

I, Tonya” is a play-by-play account of what happened during the 1994 U.S. figure skating championship when Tonya Harding and her dead-beat loser of a husband hired a white-trash goon to break the leg of her arch nemesis Nancy Kerrigan. Margot Robbie plays Harding in all her blue-collar, low-rent glory. Harding was the outsider, a figure skater that lacked the class needed in a sport whose judges look for competitors to be elegantly poised. And yet, she was the first female American figure skater to attempt and successfully complete a triple axle in competition."

"The stunningly beautiful Robbie, who admitted at the film’s press conference that before signing on to the role that she didn’t realize the Harding/Kerrigan scandal was real, delivers the best performance of her young career. De-glamming to play a person that most of America found easy to hate in the winter of 1994, it’s not at all far fetched to wonder if Robbie could be rewarded with a nomination come next January. The 27-year-old actress is a superstar-in-the-making and this performance could just bust it wide open for her."


"Allison Janney, playing LaVona Golden, her parakeet bearing, alcohol swigging, chain-smoking and cuss-per-second-swearing mother and she's even better than Robbie here. Every time she's on-screen there's a cringe-inducing pertinence to this character and yt you can't look away. She's the mother from hell. A lot of the abuse that Tonya received at the hand of her mother seems to be the driving force at what director Craig Gillespie seems to be hinting is at the heart of Tonya's drive for success. She wants to prove her mother wrong at any cost."


"The story does stick to the looney, incomprehensibly real facts, but refuses to assign any of the blame on Harding. The writer-director seems to be hinting that yes, Harding was typical white trash surrounded by more white trash, but that didn't necessarily make her an accomplice as much as a naive girl completely aloof of the plot to crush Kerrigan's knees. The implication that it was Sean Eckhardt, played with spot-on schlubbiness by Paul Walter Hauser, that concocted the whole scheme with her dead-beat abusive husband Jeff Gillooly, played by Sebastian Stan, can raise questions about the actual stories credibility, but there also is no proof to think that Tonya actually wanted it to go down that way."



"Gillespie directs the hell out of this movie, using a 1980's soundtrack to launch his narrative forward. In fact, there barely is a scene were a song isn't frenetically playing in the background. The writer-director clearly took a page out of the Scorsese rulebook as the DNA of "Goodfellas" is imprinted all over his film. There are worse movies to blatantly copy this day and age and, quite honestly, Gillespie pulls it off and makes a highly entertaining film out of the most disturbing of American sports stories."


Neon has set a release date for December 8th, 2017
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