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I Tonya

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Starring Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Aussie born Margot Robbie stars as Tonya Harding the disgraced Olympic figure skater as the story follows the tabloid sensation of Harding, about whom so much has been written and speculated, but so little has been revealed with accuracy, fairness or truth.

This remarkable movie is told in a semi-documentary style under the direction of Craig Gillespie we see excerpts from actual interviews with Tonya, her abusive ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, her chain-smoking, foul-mouthed mother, her exasperated coach and everyone else closely involved in the brilliant career and self-destructive lifestyle of the girl who was accused of orchestrating the headline-making “incident” that crippled Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan in 1994 and reduced the glamorous sport of ice skating to crisis mode.

According to this film Tonya Harding had nothing to do with what happened. It was her husband’s idea to send Kerrigan life-threatening letters that would make her nervous enough to blow the competition, but it was really Shawn Eckhart, one of Jeff Gillooly’s stupid friends who orchestrated the physical attack that broke Kerrigan’s knee.

What landed Tonya in court and got her banned from figure skating for life was her failure to disclose what she knew after she found out what her husband had done. Her breakdown before the judge and wrenching plea for a jail sentence if it would clear her name and restore the right to continue the only thing in life she really loved is a wrenching moment played brilliantly by Margot Robbie. The film covers 40 years in the life of Tonya who, despite her great talent on ice, never really had a chance to make something of herself in the first place. Deserted by her father in childhood and furiously pushed into skating by her dreadful, crude and heartless mother LaVona (a fabulous, scenestealing performance by Allison Janney), Tonya was, by her own definition, a poor redneck who was doomed from the start. Her early life in Oregon is an ugly picture where she is slapped around by a mother from hell who was one step away from a jail sentence herself and then bashed repeatedly by a violent husband, Tonya learned early how to give the finger to the rules, make up her own, then break those, too. At 23, she made the Olympic team, and on the verge of realizing her dreams, wrecked her future through her own stupidity.

This is a movie that keeps you on the edge providing outstand performances and is in the category of one of the best film for this year.

Rated MA 15plus 8.5 out of 10