Wednesday, December 27, 2017

I, Tonya has ice-melting performances by Allison Janney and Margot Robbie

Movie Title:  
   I, Tonya

Grade:   A-

Rating: R, 119 minutes

In a Nutshell: Tonya Harding is old news, but Margot Robbie and Allison Janney are two powerhouses that, combined, make for an entertaining biopic movie that somehow feels fresh and worthy of awards for the two outstanding actresses.

Robbie and Janney are so amazing that they were just nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance in their roles.  Well deserved.

At the beginning of the movie, there is a message that says, “Based on irony free, wildly contradictory, totally true interviews with Tonya Harding and Jeff Gillooly.

 Tips for parents: 
  • F-bombs and sooo much profanity.
  • Most people under 30 won't even remember this ice skating drama and will wonder why on earth Tonya Harding is even being featured in a movie now.  Good question.
  • Two scenes with a topless woman half-heartedly dancing in the background at a strip bar.
Uplifting theme: 
  •  Hard work
  • Athletic ambition
  • What people do to be loved...
  • Truth

Things I liked:
  • I love Margot Robbie in everything she does. Her career is still pretty new and she just keeps getting better and better.  She was actually a member of an amateur ice hockey league before the movie.  She trained for the role and did a lot of the skating, but they had to use visual effects and CGI to make it look like she was doing the triple axel that very few people in the world can do.  If you Google "triple axel", you see videos of Tonya Harding.  It really was an impressive accomplishment what she did.
  • When the audience is introduced to LaVona Golden (Allison Janney), the song Devil Woman is playing.  Perfect.  She is so incredibly awful that it's just a pleasure to watch Allison Janney work her evil magic.  Her haircut, oxygen tank,and pet bird are hilarious. Allison Janney had actually trained to be a professional figure skater when she was young, but had an injury that dashed her leg and her dream. Professional ice skating's loss is most definitely our win. I first took notice of her in The West Wing: The Complete Series Collection and thought she was absolutely fantastic, certainly worthy of her 4 Emmy awards for her role as C.J. Cregg.  Everything she does is stellar.
  • It was fun to see the evolution of Tonya's ice skating outfits.
  • Great ending.
  • I always like seeing footage of the real people at the end.  You get to see Tonya do her famous triple axel.  Keep watching during the credits at the end.
  • I thought the scene where Tonya puts on her makeup was really clever.  For a minute, she looked like a clown, which is what the ice skating community thought of her.

Things I didn’t like:
  • Sooo much profanity.
  • Sooo much white trash behavior and violence.
  • Why is this a movie now?  I wonder if Tonya is getting any money from this film.  She's certainly getting the recognition she constantly craved.
  • Maybe I missed it, but I didn't hear the title phrase in the movie. It sounds like something she would say while giving testimony in court, but there is no scene like that.  Why do you think the director chose that for the title of the movie?
  • The movie was just nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture in the Musical or Comedy category.  While it's extremely well done, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.  I'm not saying all movies need a happy ending, but I do wish that Best Picture winners were ones with redeeming values that made you a better person by having watched it.  I know, that's asking a lot.  I also know we can all learn from bad examples too.  In that regard, this movie wins.
  • The news cycle.  AAAAH!

Funny lines:
  • “So, do you like food?” - Jeff’s big pick-up line when he first met Tonya. ha ha
  • “We don’t even know anything.” – Tonya
“Well, that must make life difficult.” – FBI agent

  • "What do you think I should do?" - Jeff
  •     I don't know.  I really think you should kill yourself." - Tonya
  • Apparently, when Tonya Harding saw the movie, she said she really liked the line, "Suck my dxxk" and wished she had said that in real life.  Weird, right?  Shouldn't she be completely embarrassed by this film?

Interesting lines:
  • “Ordinary.  Nothing special there.” – LaVona Golden
  •  "I was loved for a minute.  Then I was hated. Then I was just a punchline.  It was like being abused all over again." - Tonya


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