Published: Sat, December 09, 2017
Culture&Arts | By Darrell Mcdonald

Margot Robbie is a revelation in I, Tonya

Margot Robbie is a revelation in I, Tonya

The trailer for the movie boasts that it's based on an "insane true story", but Robbie's fourth wall-breaking Tonya is skeptical of the concept of truth. A single mom who works as a waitress, she stands up for herself in a way that working class people often feel is not possible for them; LaVonna won't take no for an answer when she decides that little Tonya needs to be trained as a figure skater, for example, and works extra shifts to pay for the coaching once she secures it for her daughter. Kerrigan came from an honest, hard-working family, and was embraced by the skating community and the larger sporting world. In the nineties (and you could be forgiven for thinking not much has changed), appearance mattered. The film has generated considerable awards buzz, mainly for Robbie and co-star Allison Janney, who plays Harding's mother. "So that reinforced her mental state", Gillespie explained.

For her part, Robbie struggles a bit with Harding in the very early going - it's hard to buy her as a 15 year old, even with the braces - and the sleight of hand used to realize the skating sequences is visually distracting in places. It later transpired that the attack was carried out by a man named Shane Stant, who had been hired by Gillooly and Harding's self-proclaimed body guard, Shawn Eckhardt.

The 2015 world champion, Tuktamysheva not only landed a triple axel at that competition, but she also became the first woman in history to land four triple jumps in a short program (triple axel, triple lutz, triple toe-triple toe combination). It's a fun time at the movies, but doesn't deliver total justice for its subject.

To portray the ill-fated title character, Margot Robbie sat down with Harding and drew from hours of archival footage - Harding's infamy arrived at a particularly ravenous time with the onset of gossip shows like "A Current Affair" and "Hard Copy" - and her dedication to authenticity pays off in spades.

Rogers interviewed Harding and Gillooly, weaving their wildly conflicting accounts into his script.

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"Gillooly and Stan were eventually found guilty, and Tonya pleaded guilty to hindering the prosecution, and was subsequently banned for life from the US Figure Skating Association". Like judges in our own personal thespian Olympics, we are invited to admire the skill and precision with which Robbie nails Harding in that glorious moment - her fragile joy, her exultant grin and her extraordinary athletic prowess (the latter reproduced on-screen with a seamless digital assist). Eventually even that notoreity faded, and she receded into her private life.

The public still favored Kerrigan by far, but was Harding unfairly vilified by the media? It shows how disconnected she was from what was happening in her life. The movie focuses on how Harding ended up in the situation she was in: trapped in a violent, loveless, abusive marriage from which she couldn't escape even if she tried.

However, he concludes, "the more I edited, and the more I meditated, and the more I considered the wholeness of the person of Tonya Harding, I began to feel a conviction to write something with dignity and grace, to pull back the ridiculous tabloid fodder and take stock of the real story of this odd and magnificent America hero". "We wanted to respect the issue, but we didn't want to sugar coat it, too".

I wasn't alive when Nancy Kerrigan was attacked, and as I grew up, all of my '90s scandal education was devoted to OJ Simpson and Michael Jackson.

The seventh women overall and the second to land the jump in global junior competition, Kihira made her mark in the history books during the 2016 Junior Grand Prix in Slovenia at just 14 years old.

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