It’s a story that’s wildly contradicting, playing out as a chaotic back and forth whirlwind of “he said” “she said,” where, at the end of the day, the truth doesn’t matter. I, Tonya sees an Olympian figure skater come from nothing and build her life from the ground up, all before it ultimately comes tumbling down. But the truth of the matter isn’t what’s important here; this is a film that triumphantly says “fuck you” to the truth. Screenwriter Steven Rogers knows that finding it out is an impossible task. Instead, what we get is a sensationally energetic, dark and disturbing biopic of one of sport’s darkest hours.
Their relationship takes the main focus for most of the movie, but this is far from a romance. It’s their blossoming abuse that plays into the film’s overarching themes, paralleling the sub-plot involving Tonya’s mother, who trod on her daughter’s entire existence ever since the day of her birth, but strangely enough, with good intentions. Roger’s screenplay brings all the shocks, emotion and heart that come with dealing with such a tricky topic, all while showing respect and sympathy for its main characters, who often find themselves misrepresented and, in a way, abused by the media and general public.
This may be Margot Robbie’s movie through and through, but Stan and Janney can’t go without the appropriate recognition. It’s such a different role for Stan, sporting an unforgiving moustache and playing a far more sinisterly-intended character than we’ve seen of him before, but he commits fully and is one of the film’s best elements. Janney, also, is absolutely sensational. Her performance is so big and rambunctious, but deep, troubled and highly sophisticated, and it might just see her take home that much sought after gold statue at the Oscars this March.
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