I, Tonya - Film Club Review


Based on the true story of American figure skater Tonya Harding, I, Tonya is a mockumentary-style look at one of the most infamous scandals in sports history.

Title: I, Tonya
Genre: Drama
Classification: MA15+
Director: Craig Gillespie

Competitive ice skater Tonya Harding rises amongst the ranks at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but her future in the activity is thrown into doubt when her ex-husband intervenes.


In general, did people enjoy this film?

Everyone mostly agreed that it was an enjoyable film. Whilst some were not happy with the breaking of the fourth wall, and others wanted more out of the backstory, there was a sense that in the end it didn't really matter all too much. There was discussion of possible other ways the filmmakers could've taken this story, like exploring more of the interaction with Nancy Kerrigan, or delving deeper into Harding's childhood, but ultimately those would've been quite different films to this one, which instead chose to focus more on the incident and the lack of any kind of concrete evidence or answers, an intriguing stand-point in and of itself. The thing everyone could agree on was that the casting and performances were excellent.

What did they like / not like about it?

I enjoyed the casting of this film. Each character added to the entertainment of the movie, more than the story itself did. It felt incredibly dramatized (which might have been the point) so sometimes it was easy to forget that this was based on real events. - Sally

I really enjoyed this film. I found it very entertaining. The only thing I was disappointed with was some of the pacing, it felt a little rushed and seemed to focus a lot on the incident rather than a more complete story. I thought the casting/acting was wonderful though.Mali

The performances were fantastic, Margot Robbie and Alison Janney in particular. I liked the movie's fun, irreverent tone, and the way it intertwined the re-enacted interviews with the story. I think the movie spent too much time on the big incident and glossed over the best parts, which was Tonya's life outside of the incident, and her mum! - Liam

Whilst the performances were excellent and plenty of humour was involved, something seemed to lack slightly for me once the breaking the fourth wall (characters talking directly to the audience) scenes came about and the general structuring of the storyline. It’s a fun enough movie to watch, though for me personally, I don’t see myself watching it again in any big hurry. - Lukas

Very engaging and leaves you to deciding which bits are real/fake….if any.  Entertaining either way. Could things have been different in a loving and caring environment or are you what you are regardless?  Loved the parrot with the ear fetish. - Eddy

Allison Janney's engaging stellar performance as the oppressive and draconian mother, outshines Tonya Harding’s story of hardship and woeful buffoonery at the hands of her ex-husband and egoistic bodyguard.  Entertaining and definitely comedic, I, Tonya both amuses and perplexes its audience as it hurtles through domestic violence and bad-taste 80’s costumes towards the inevitable “incident” which ultimately saw the disgraced Harding banned for life from figure skating. - Vicky

Keywords used to describe this movie:

Entertaining. Engaging. Snarky. Funny. Heartfelt. Biopic. Mockumentary. Frustrating. Comedic. Debatable. Solid-acting. Candid. Nostalgic. Detailed. Real.

Would people recommend it to a friend?

Yes, definitely. It's a great watch regardless of how much you know about her!




What did you think of I, Tonya? We'd love to hear your thoughts! And make sure you stay up to date with the films so you can join in the conversation next fortnight.



And the next film is…

Title: The Shape of Water
Genre: Drama
Classification: MA15+
Director: Guillermo del Toro

An other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of silence and isolation. Elisa's life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment.

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