Eye of the Tiger

ENTERTAINMENT: January 23, 2018

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Witness the tragic life of Tonya Harding being transformed into a comedy in I,Tonya. Through the sit down interview style which depicts Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding reflecting on her rough and tumble upbringing you gain a sense of love and protection for Tonya. It is fairly possible that the Harding Robbie is portraying is glossy and victimized but the stellar performance provided makes you completely disregard that.

Robbie makes you feel everything Tonya Harding was supposedly subjected to. Through scenes on glory and failure you are always rooting for her even after she supposedly orchestrated the bashing of her competitors knee. Oh and that’s another fabulous directing/decision, while Kerrigan is shown she never actually speaks. I’m being dead serious she does not utter a single line in the entirety of the film. The spotlight is completely on Tonya and it makes you happy to see her shine in the limelight after over two whole decades of disgrace.

The in character interview style of directing in I, Tonya is novel for a biopic and provides the plot and character with a great deal of dimension making it all the more enthralling to watch. The interviews are actual transcriptions of Gillooly and Harding’s own words just read off by Robbie and Stan, this decision is in much better taste than just keeping the original interviews. If they had just done cold cuts from the real Harding and Gillooly to reenactments done by Robbie and Stan it would have felt more like a Lifetime special than an Oscar nominated film. This also allows for the breaking of the third wall intensifying the comedic factor amongst all the tragedy and pity.

The humorous outlook Tonya has on her rough past is what defines I, Tonya as a comedy and of course the outrageous portrayal of her accused abusers. Such as LaVona Harding played by Allison Janney. Janney takes on the rough around the edges character with an extreme lack of grace and it is perfect for LaVona. It is unlikely she is seen without a clove cigarette in hand or dropping an f bomb in every other sentence. This is all apart of her charm and exactly why she steals every scene she’s in.

Of course the telling of Tonya Harding can’t occur without Jeff Gillooly who is even given his own perception of how he remembers his relationship with Tonya leading up to and following the takeout of Nancy Kerrigan’s knee. Sebastian Stan plays Gillooly as a meek and timid character through his own account and rampid abuser through Tonya’s. Stan takes the dichotomy of his character and plays one Jeff just as perfectly as the other.

   

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