Margot Robbie shines again as Tonya Harding, an Olympic ice skating champ-turned disgrace, in “I, Tonya,” which focuses on her abused life on and off the ice. But the biggest issue was her husband and bodyguard hiring a man to injure her opponent Nancy Kerrigan. This led to her ban from ice skating.
Before we get to that event, we meet Tonya, her abusive, alcoholic, and fowl-mouthed mother (Allison Janney), her abusive and sometimes loving ex-husband Jeff Gilooly (Sebastian Stan), and his friend and her bodyguard Shawn Eckhardt (Paul Walter Houser).
Tonya often argues with the judges about her skills, costume, and vulnerability. She succeeds with a triple axel, but that’s not enough. Jeff and Shawn both hire an assailant to attack Kerrigan, and that’s when things go haywire.
Director Craig Gillespie does a nice job adding a 80s-90s vibe as well as getting some great talents to portray the historic figures. Robbie, Stan, Hauser, and Janney all explode with great intensity. I especially love the 4:3 picture format for the interviews, and the dialogue is very funny.
There are abusive moments I don’t like to watch, generally speaking, but still “I, Tonya” is an entertaining film about a skater you love or hate, depending on your views.