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I, Tonya - Movie Review

Production Company: Clubhouse Pictures (II) and LuckyChap Entertainment

Streaming Service: Hulu, Prime Video

Release Date: October 19th, 2017

Starring: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan

Director: Craig Gillespie

Rated: R

I, Tonya rocked the movie world when it was released. It was much talked about but was released and quickly forgotten about. With high reviews from most other movie blogs, the normal audiences seemed to be unconcerned or disinterested in the film. I would not consider this film to be a “cult film” necessarily but it is meant for a very select viewer.

My own personal introduction to Tonya Harding was through comedy television, not the ice skating world. My parents remember Tonya Harding’s entire journey through fame and misfortune. Watching this film, I was able to finally humanize and feel sympathetic towards Tonya Harding.

This film is made from interviews of all people involved and is essentially a biopic based on the interviews while also showing dramatized versions of the interviews. The basic story of the film is the rise and fall of Tonya Harding involving the Nancy Kerrigan incident. The cinematography and soundtrack to this movie are impactful and beautiful. Cinematography is a key tool for me in movies because if it’s done wrong, it can make a viewer dizzy or take away from the beauty of the film. The soundtrack is simplistic, allowing the narrative of the story and interviews to take center stage.

While it is considered a comedy, this film is very dramatic and jerks at your heart in moments you don’t expect. This film is funny in a dark, sarcastic, and almost morbid way. This is not your typical comedy and can be rather dry, so don’t watch this if you’re looking to make fun of Tonya Harding or for a real comedy. This movie uses the fourth wall as a piece of comedy and narrative.

I was honestly blown away by this film because it doesn’t use expensive, high tech animation but simple music, narrative, scenes and costumes. It uses the drama and comedy of real life to create a film that is both captivating and beautiful. I, Tonya is unique because it allows Tonya Harding to use her own words to describe the earlier part of her life, but the other interviews and scenes to allow the viewer to find the truth.

I would highly recommend this film to anyone interested in biopics, figure skating or dark humor. I truly enjoyed the real footage during the credits and was blown away by how closely the actors matched their real-life counterparts.

Score: 8.5/10

Reviewed By: Craig Diamond

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