Non-Spoiler Review: You can just hand Margot Robbie the Oscar now
I don't think it's a stretch to say Margot Robbie carries I, Tonya.
It's arguable whether or not infamous former Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding deserves her own biopic but she couldn't have hoped for better than Robbie. Here's a quick plot rundown:
Based on true events, I, Tonya is a comedic retelling of key moments in the career of American figure skater, Tonya Harding, and particularly the scandal surrounding an attack on fellow Olympic competitor Nancy Kerrigan.
Allison Janney will get what's due to her for her turn as Harding's monster of a mother, but Robbie's performance is everything here. Frances McDormand and Sally Hawkins will give her a run for her money but Robbie has to be the favorite going into Oscar season.
Craig Gillespie's film takes a chapter or two out of Martin Scorsese's book. Fourth wall breaks, narration, contradicting confessional takes, you name it. I hesitate to toss out a Goodfellas comparison but there are times where I, Tonya hits a lot of the same notes. Swap Leonardo DiCaprio's Jordan Belfort for Robbie's Harding, replace the wealth and debauchery with crushing poverty and abuse and you've got yourself a female-driven The Wolf of Wall Street.
A few snarks are calling out the film's CGI during the skating scenes, but there's nothing really there. I, Tonya is a darker than dark comedy that succeeds in making one of America's most unlikeable tabloid stars into a sometimes-sympathetic tragic figure. The film doesn't ask you to forgive Harding for whatever her role in "the incident" truly was, it just wants you to listen.
(image via NEON)