Posted: Monday, December 11, 2017 – 12:14 PM
Margot Robbie is a pretty good figure skater. She has a stand-in (skate-in?) doing the hard stuff, but the terrific acting is all Robbie as she portrays the troubled Tonya Harding’s difficult life in I, Tonya.
Harding, born Nov. 12, 1970 in Portland, was the first woman to complete a triple axel in competition. She skates to unprecedented criticism from the snooty judges because of her simple, unstylish costumes which, due to lack of money, she makes herself. The cause and effect ultimately destroys what could have been her eventual legacy.
Steven Rogers’ entertaining screenplay is based on true events and it covers the integral parts of the story, peppering it with humor and pathos. The humor is funny and sometimes hilarious as Tonya’s mother, a potty-mouthed LeVona Golden portrayed by Allison Janney, delivers lines as if she were possessed by the late great Don Rickles.
Sebastian Stan is Harding’s ex husband Jeff Gilooly, who devises the plan to whack Nancy Kerrigan in the knee with a club; and Paul Walter Houser is bodyguard Shawn Ekhardt who does the actual whacking and had Kerrigan’s cry of “Why? Why? Why?” resonating throughout the world.
Harding , a two time Olympian, was the 1991 U.S. champion figure skater and the same year won the World Figure Skating Championship Silver Medal. In 1994 she was banned for life by the US Figure Skating Association, but deserved a better fate in life.
Incidentally, Ms. Janney alone is worth the price of admission.
3 Bagels out of 4
Jerry Cutler, The Courier’s film critic is rabbi at Creative Arts Temple.