I, Tonya (15)

I, Tonya

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In 1991, Tonya Harding became the first American

woman to perform the triple axel, a feat which

established her as one of the top ice skaters in

the world. But she was from the wrong side of the

tracks. In a move which stunned the sporting world,

she found herself embroiled in a bungled plot to

eliminate her chief skating rival, Nancy Kerrigan

(from the right side). Smartly and ironically penned,

it unfolds as a narrated biography with mock

interview interjections from its lead characters as

they reflect on, and often comically deny, both the

film and Harding’s version of events. A bold, and

surprisingly effective narrative choice.

Harding is presented as a frank, layered individual

rather than the one-dimensional villain we’ve been

sold; a masterstroke which pays off in spades,

largely due to Margot Robbie’s mesmerising

transformation into the skater. A remarkable story

of a woman who was never accepted in the skating

frat, but who, through a clawing struggle for love

and acceptance, surrounds herself with some of the

worst people possible. Villain or victim? After all,

truth is stranger than fiction. (Research Chris Coetsee)

How much of this film might be true, doesn’t matter,

it’s a riveting tale. Come for that.