I, Tonya (2017) Review


Based on the life of figure skater Tonya Harding and her tough battle to make it at the top and become part of the Olympic team. A tough up bringing by her mother LaVona who claimed to be helping her become the best. A brutal relationship with Jeff who becomes her husband, all ends with a huge scandal.


I thought before seeing the film that it seemed to be a very strange story to make a film out of, with it being a big scandal and all. Especially with the opening sequence which pretty much said everything in the film might be true or it might be a lie. That the stories will conflict and none of the “people” or should that be characters would actually agree. That was not really the best start for me when I was already unsure about the film in general.

I was looking forward to seeing Allison Janney as she has picked up pretty much every single award going for her role as LaVona Harding. I can kind of half understand it. Ok, I am a little bit confused by the hype in general now surrounding this film. I really did not like the format in the way they had the characters telling the story in interview format and jumping from different time periods and then with the talking to the camera moments. It just all seemed a little forced and I just didn’t get into it at all.

This is certainly something I love about award season though that some of the films you fall in love with and totally get. While other films you just don’t get or even like. I am putting this on in the latter category. Now onto Margot Robbie who I thought was extremely average from start to finish in this one, I am still not convinced with her at all. Yes, this may just be her best performance yet but looking at some of them she has put in so far then it is no real surprise that this then looks outstanding.

The film then is building up to an attack on Nancy Kerrigan who was Tonya’s rival skater for the Olympics and that was pretty brutal. An event which is seen as one of the biggest scandals in US sporting history. I had not even heard of it before watching the film, which I think made it rather difficult in the way the story was being told because I then didn’t really know what was made up and what was the real event. I actually wish I had read more on the background before watching as I think that would have improved my viewing experience.

I just think parts of her story could have been done in a more powerful way, the abuse she suffered from her mother and then husband. The judges not accepting her as part of the sport because of her background could have really been shown in a very different way that would have been a lot more powerful than this, just not for me.


13 thoughts on “I, Tonya (2017) Review

  1. I think this film has been over praised especially the performances which I thought were strong but not outstanding. I liked the soundtrack but I felt that it was over done – a new song for nearly every scene was a bit OTT. I agree the structure could have been better. Also, Margot Robbie as a 15 year old teenager? Really? In spite of all this I did enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually I did enjoy the soundtrack and some of the placement of the songs were actually hilarious, I probably should have mentioned that in my review as it might have been a little bit more positive haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If this had come out ten or even fifteen years ago, I think it would’ve had more impact because it would’ve still been in the public’s consciousness. Also I think it failed, stylistically, to tell what was a compelling ‘girl-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks-makes-good-and-then-is-destroyed’ narrative.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I actually really enjoyed this movie – but I think it’s because I remember very well that whole thing with Tanya Harding in real life. It was interesting to get some sense of a back story (although I realize with Hollywood the lines between fact and fiction can be blurred, as the movie itself points out haha). I could have done without some of the violence though. I mean, I get it that real life has violence (I study military history so I get that very well!) but I just thought the movie went a little overboard with it. You know who I thought did a fantastic acting job in that movie but didn’t get much credit for it, is the guy playing Jeff’s boneheaded friend! LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

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