If you were around in the early 1990’s, then you are probably familiar with the scandal involving Olympic hopeful Tonya Harding and rival skater Nancy Kerrigan, America’s sweetheart, who had her knee bashed in by someone in Harding’s camp.
In this biopic, Margot Robbie plays Tonya, who is painted as a sympathetic character when you learn about her childhood. Played by Allison Janney, who won the Academy Award for her role as LaVona, Tonya’s mom is a hard task master, expecting her child to be the best skater and pushing her to the limit. She even goes as far as hitting and verbally abusing her daughter.
As a teenager, Tonya enters into a tumultuous and violent relationship with Jeff Gillooly. Supposedly, Jeff’s friend was to hire men to send Nancy death-threat letters in hopes she would drop out of the Olympic race. That was always the original plan, but they ended up assaulting her instead. The movie doesn’t really say whether Tonya knew about the assault. However, eventually she was convicted and was unable to compete in skating ever again, which was worse than any jail sentence since skating is all she ever knew.
Overall, I, Tonya is an entertaining portrayal of a unfortunate event in skating history that will appeal to most. Rated R