Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, and Allison Janney lead an ensemble cast in a sleeper movie hit of the year. This movie comes out of nowhere and takes you on a crazy, wild ride.
One of the lines that resonated the most was by Tonya’s mother, LaVona Golden (played by the great Allison Janney), says, “The thing about Tonya was, she skated better when she was enraged. If there was no “You couldn’t do it,” type thing, she wouldn’t do it.” Something, which looking back, seems to have influenced Tonya over every aspect of her life, not just with skating.
The movie tells the story of the Nancy Kerrigan attack before and after from Tonya, Jeff, and Lavona’s viewpoints. The story starts with Tonya’s childhood, and shows us how in her words “She was a redneck. She grew up poor. She wasn’t going to apologize for growing up poor in a sport where they want you to be a perfect little princess on and off the ice.” Because of what she felt was a class divide (and it certainly looked like it from the movie’s perspective) she felt like a second class citizen her whole figure skating career. She still has a big chip on her shoulder to this day because Tonya believes she wasn’t judged fairly based on her performance on the ring, but because she couldn’t afford to have beautiful, custom made costumes like all the other skaters.
The movie follows a fast pace throughout, switching back and forth between perspectives helps keep it fresh and interesting. Some of the stories intersect, and completely change depending on who’s doing the telling, which definitely mirrors life. One thing that I thought was very interesting, is Nancy Kerrigan is only in the peripheral vision, up to the attack. They seemed to have used actual footage from the attack, trial, and aftermath and never interviewed Nancy or seemed to care about her point of view at all. This movie is all about Tonya Harding.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I don’t know how factual it is, especially about the trial and what they actually confessed to, etc, but they way it was portrayed seemed like you were watching a thoroughly entertaining “true life” interview, like what ESPN just did from 30 for 30. It’s very fast paced, and the way they show different points of views is a very refreshing idea. Based on performance alone, I wouldn’t be surprised if Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, and Allison Janney are all nominated for Golden Globes and if Margot Robbie isn’t nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Awards this year. Keep an eye out for this indie film to take over after the new year.
Is it worth seeing in the theater? Absolutely. Is it a factual true film? I have no idea, but it’s entertaining as hell and well done. Go enjoy it, leave the bats at home, bring your friends, and let me know what you think of it. Enjoy!