I, Tonya

Based on the true life of Tonya Harding the American Figure skater best known for her involvement of the attack on her fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan., taken from interviews from the main people portrayed in the film.

Date watched: – 6th February 2018

Where watched: – Cineworld Whiteley

Director: – Craig Gillespie

Writer: – Steven Rogers

Starring: – Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, Julianne Nicholson, Paul Walter Hauser and with Maizie Smith and Mckenna Grace as the young Tonya’s

Awards: – Academy Awards Nominations – Best Actress (Margot Robbie), Best Actress in Supporting Role (Allison Janney), Best Film Editing, BAFTA Nominations – Best Actress, Best Hair & MakeUp, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress.

A film I was interested in from when I saw the trailer as I can remember the “incident” on Nancy Kerrigan and Margot Robbie is starting to really shine as an actress. The film is a mix of action going right back to Tonya’s childhood and her strained relationship with her mother and faux interviews with Margot as Tonya, Sebastian Stan as her ex Jeff and Allison Janney as her Mother LaVona as they look back to her childhood and her dreams and her achievements.

LaVona is abusive both physically and mentally to her daughter as she pushes her to improve and meets Jeff when she’s 15 but after the first few dates he also becomes abusive to her and hits her but she decides to stay with him. Tonya then starts to compete competitively but is upset when the judges’ mark down her score and when she competes in her own made customer she is told then they also mark on appearance and she should try a different sport. She then fires her coach and marries Jeff despite his violent behaviour to her. At the Nationals in 1991 Tonya then with her new coach manages to land a triple axel becoming the first American female to do so and brings her new heights in her skating, however after the Nationals her relationship with Jeff becomes more violent and she files a restraining order against him and divorces him however her skating becomes poor and she ends up working at a restaurant where her old coach Diane sees her and tells her the next Olympics is now only 2 years away instead of 4 and takes on the role of her coach again.

The interviews then start talking about the “incident” which begins during a Championship when the police speak to Tonya to say they have received a death threat against her if she skates so she pulls out and then Jeff suggests they should do the same to her competitors and calls in Shawn to hatch a plan. Shawn gets two of his pals to go to Detroit and scare Nancy. Jeff and Tonya believed that the plan was to scare her with a threatening letter but Shawn’s pals had their own ideas and Shane takes a retractable baton and smashes Nancy’s knee. Shane is arrested and questioned over the incident, Jeff and Tonya are also questioned by the FBI but at the time of the Olympics their had no evidence to suggest she was involved in the incident and Tonya competes but due to issues with her laces she skates in pain and finishes eight but Nancy now recovered finishes 2nd which Tonya believes was due to sympathy. Jeff now arrested as he made payments to Shawn’s pals which had been traced and is joined by Tonya after the Olympics. Tonya is found guilty of hindering the prosecution and is given community services and probation but is banned for life from the US Figure Skating Association which Tonya is most upset about and offers to serve Jail Time instead of the ban. Jeff receives 18 month jail for his part.

Tonya then becomes a professional boxer after winning a charity match and film ends with her opponent knocking her on to the canvas and Margot saying this is the story of her life and “that’s the Fucking Truth”

This was a good film and I enjoyed it and it changed my perspective of the “incident” and of Tonya and also shows the possible prejudice in judging within sport though this. I didn’t really like some of the camera work as it was shaky and it did feel like a low budget film but I had to remember that this was set in the 80’s.

This is a worthwhile film to watch and Margot did give a very good performance. I rate this 8 out 10.



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