REVIEW / COMEDY BIOPIC
I, TONYA (M18)
120 minutes/Opens at the moment/ four stars
The story: Told in a sequence of vignettes, this biopic of a figure-skating Olympian who falls from grace begins in Tonya Harding’s childhood. Her mom, Lavona (Allison Janney), locations the kid in her first skating class. The teen Tonya (Margot Robbie) meets and marries Jeff (Sebastian Stan) and the pairing of abusive man and lady with low shallowness results in catastrophe, particularly, the assault on rival skater Nancy Kerrigan. It has Oscar nominations for Best Actress for Robbie and Supporting Actress for Janney.
The Tonya Harding scandal, when it broke within the early 1990s, was not as broadly lined in Singapore because it was within the United States, however it did get its share of column inches.
Most individuals would have forgotten the small print and, if pressed, most would compress and conflate recollections of the news that went into their heads to spin a narrative a few villainess, a talentless she-demon who orchestrated a vicious assault on a superior, extra enticing rival to offer herself higher odds.
This film, organized as a sequence of mockumentary interviews, units the report straight concerning the crime. It exonerates Harding.
But extra curiously, the interviews with Lavona (Janney) and Harding (Robbie) slowly and slyly expose the false recollections that viewers would possibly have concerning the incident.
It accuses the viewers and the media of complicity within the crime of demonising Harding,
Robbie’s Harding is a girl born of generational hardship. Her mom, who raised her, is a sophisticated mixture of tiger mum and working-class eccentric.
Janney’s portrayal of Lavona is fierce and humorous, however clips of the real-life Lavona proven earlier than the top credit reveal that Janney’s portrayal was spot-on and never a caricature.
At its coronary heart, this movie asks its viewers to just accept a contradiction, which it sells with a understanding wink and moderately efficiently.
The courtroom of public opinion ought to clear Harding’s identify, says the film, due to the info of the case.
But it does so by substituting one seductive narrative for one more: She was a sufferer of a feckless, abusive husband, Jeff (Stan), whose story is performed right here as a Coen brothers-style crime caper a few dumb man, with even dumber buddies.