I, Tonya – Blu-ray/DVD Combo Edition

Despite the fact that this was a celebrated film I am still not sure Margot Robbie is more than a very pretty face. Harsh? Maybe, but accurate, in my opinion. While I have not seen her entire body of work (never saw The Legend of Tarzan, Focus or Suicide Squad) I have seen enough to formulate the theory that her success might be more about her looks and winning personality than her talent.

I am sure when most of you where incredibly dubious when you heard a feature film was being made about Tonya Harding. Who needed that film? Then another eye roll came about when it was announced that Margot Robbie would be playing Tonya. Meaning that hiring a beautiful woman who could not skate to portray Tonya seemed like an odd choice.

What I did appreciate about the film was how director Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl, Million Dollar Arm) made sure it was very clear that this was not a true story rather a film that tries to allow the perspectives of the three main people involved – Tonya, her mother and ex-husband Jeff – to filter through. What is amazing is how different each one remembers the “truth”. Multiple versions of the truth live and breathe here.

Many layers are at play here. The cutthroat nature of sports, tabloid media, the public’s love of a good scandal, spousal abuse, being from the wrong side of the tracks, broken families and the effect upon children, and on and on. A film like this really makes you think about how we really like a clearly identified villain. We seem confused when that isn’t the case and almost make it so. Black or white. Good or bad. Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) or Nancy Kerrigan (Caitlin Carver – Paper Towns). And sometimes it doesn’t even seem to matter what the truth is.

I,Tonya does make you rethink what you might have thought about this woman. Make you realize that we don’t necessarily know the whole truth. Or any of it. It will definitely change some people opinion about Tonya Harding.

One of the biggest scandals within ice skating history was the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan tire iron incident. As they say, reality is often more unbelievable than fiction. The fact that one member (Tonya Harding) of the United States Olympic figure skating team would be involved in the attack of another (Nancy Kerrigan) is mind boggling.

Tonya Harding was a naturally gifted athlete, but did not have the grace and persona that the U.S.  skating community wanted. As such, despite the fact that she was the only woman doing a triple axle in competition, she never came in first. The deck was stacked against her. This feisty woman from a poor background was not going to quit. She was going to go to any length to be a skating star.

Though my opinion about Margot Robbie is still formulating, one actress I am sure about is Allison Janney. Whatever this woman does is gold. Whether she is doing comedy (television series Mom), a television political drama (The West Wing), a feature film based on a best selling novel (The Girl on the Train) or anything else you could imagine, the woman not only does it but hits it out of the park. Her Oscar nomination and subsequent win in the Best Supporting Actress category was totally merited. Hard to believe that a personal friend of hers, Steven Rogers (Hope Floats, Stepmom), wrote this part with her in mind. She seems like such a likable person that it is amazing she convincingly played Tonya’s horrible mother. The things that come out of LaVona mouth will have you recoiling in horror.

Special Features:

  • Audio Commentary with Director Craig Gillespie
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Behind the Scenes Featurette
  • Original Trailers