I, Tonya

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Swanner: I, Tonya is a biopic that follows the life of Olympic ice skater Tonya Harding. We follow Tonya (Margot Robbie) from childhood up through the incident. As a child, we see her training with her mother, LaVona Golden (Allison Janney), who comes across as one of the worst stage mothers in history. As Tonya enters adulthood, she meets Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan), who takes her life in a bad direction. Once the incident occurs we follow Tonya through the paparazzi and trails that came after.

Director Craig Gillespie and screenwriter Steven Rogers give us a very dark and damaged story but told as a black comedy. Tonya’s mother is a horrible person, but we can’t wait for the next time she verbally abuses Tonya; and when Jeff starts abusing Tonya physically, we look forward to how she’ll take revenge on her abuser. We shouldn’t be laughing, but Tonya’s white trash life is what great comedy is made of.  The film does have big dramatic moments, but for those of us that remember the incident and what followed, it’s hard to feel bad for anyone, except for maybe Nancy Kerrigan.

All the performances are 10’s from the judges, but watch for Robbie and Janney to go to the big show (The Oscars). You can also expect Rogers to get an Oscar nod for his dark and hilarious script. The timing of the release, with the Winter Olympics right around the corner, you should expect this film to go big. I did like the fact that the film isn’t trying to make Tonya the victim of this story. They show you that Tonya made a lot of bad choices in her life, and surrounded herself with terrible people. The best way to watch the film is to get some Eskimo Pies, Dove Bars if you can afford them, some cheap beer and enjoy.

Swanner: 3 1/2 stars

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