TIFF 2017: I, Tonya Review

This will be one of many reviews during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. If you would like to keep up with our content, click here. Check out my Instagram page for pictures of the premiere.

Synopsis: Competitive ice skater Tonya Harding rises among the ranks at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but her future in the sport is thrown into doubt when her ex-husband intervenes. (IMDB)

Starring: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, and Allison Janney

Writer: Steven Rogers

Director: Craig Gillespie

Rating: n/a (Canada)/R (United States)

Running Time: 119mins

Trailer: n/a

Now this one came out of nowhere. In terms of sports biopic, this might not be the most original story but what sets this apart from the others was the manner in which it was presented. The film tells the story of the famous figure skater Tonya Harding (Robbie) in an extremely humorous way. It does so from interviews, and occasional fourth-wall breaking, with they many eccentric people from her life. This approach allowed the story to portray these characters in a more realistic way and made it a lot of fun to watch too.

It definitely would not have worked if not for Robbie’s performance as Harding. She brought out Harding’s fiestyness and sheer determination to succeed and pave her own path regardless of what others thought of her. Stan was great as her complicated love interest but what most will remember is Janney’s performance as Harding’s wise-cracking mother.

Overall, this was a great sports biopic that approached the story of Tonya Harding in a smart, refreshing way. It was extremely hilarious but also well-acted all around.

Score: 9.5/10

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