Figure Skating goes Punk Rock - I,Tonya (REVIEW)
I love true life stories, but I also love when they are told from a subjective perspective with crass humor and guts. Enter Tonya Harding, a figure skater who grew up poor, with an abusive mother and boyfriend with only skating to give her the thrills of success. A story in which a character is so controversial she can't catch a break for just wanting to be different despite her technical abilities as an athlete.
I absolutely adored this movie. The jokes land fast and funny, the drama is seeped in deep anger and resentment and the results are an extremely entertaining film filled with incredible performances. Margot Robbie is the confident rock star figure skater with anger issues and poor choice in men, Sebastian Stan as her on again off again boyfriend is vicious and hysterical at the same time. Alison Janney as Tonya's mother is as ruthless as any mom on “Toddlers and Tiaras” and paints a picture of a rough and tumble family that just so happens to have an Olympic level skater in the mix.
The story this film unfirlls is one of those stranger than fiction, Coen Brothers style comedies that you just strap in for the ride. Between the skating and the scandal encompassing the back half of the film, not knowing any of it before hand made for an amazingly entertaining watch that had me laughing and gasping at the ridiculousness of the whole thing. It is never 100% clear how certain events occurred thanks to various testimonies sprinkled throughout the film contradicting one another and how media also took the story and ran with their own version of events contrary to what everyone else said. The results are a woman just looking to do her best at the one thing she is good to become the number one skater in the world. Then to have everything around her be an obstacle to overcome. She is hard headed, knows what she wants and does whatever it takes to get it, old “proper” ways be dammed. She took figure skating and made it a punk rock sport and no one was ready for it and this film does the exact same thing
Absolute powerhouse performances, run and gun style shooting and an altogether hilarious tone make this film one of the best of the year. I could not get enough of this story or it's characters. I was on board right from the start and they kept the train rolling all the way through for the most thoroughly entertaining films you are likely to see this year.
Powerhouse performances surround a crazy, hilarious tale