Sunday, March 4, 2018

I, Tonya is the greatest movie of all time

Academy Awards are tonight. And the Oscar goes to... Damn. That Margot Robbie is really something. Really, really, really something. I have seen her in three movies. In all of them (Wolf of Wall Street, Suicide Squad, and I, Tonya) she was phenomenal. This was her best though. She is the new Meryl Streep, this one, and this solidified it, for me anyhow. On her performance alone this would have been of the greatest movie of all time variety, but seriously, so much more that fucking rocked. Kenyon grad Allison Janney was fucking great. As was the guy who played douchebag Jeff Gillooly. It was nice reliving this little chunk of insanity through this medium and fucking believe the world is a better goddamned place because of this movie. Though it does give Tonya too much benefit of doubt. Like her mom would say, “fuck her.” Also, Nancy still seems like a bitch, which will never not be unfortunate (a lot of negatives there, I mean it always be shitty) since she was the victim and all.

Alison Janney. Known for playing great mothers.

Pros: Margot Robbie. OMG is she good. Ditto Allison Janney. Pretty much a flawlessly acted film. The way the iceskating is shot is super cool and impress. You are on the ice with her basically and Robbie looks like an Olympic figure skater (for the most part). Pretty funny considering it's about a real life shit show.

Could you imagine if this chick played you in a biopic?
Cons: Sort of amounts to a Tonya Harding apology (in the classical sense) film. Nobody is really on board with that. Music is a little much and too on the nose (do we really need to hear “Devil Woman” when Tonya's mom is being terrible?).

Competitive ice skater Tonya Harding rises amongst the ranks at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but her future in the activity is thrown into doubt when her ex-husband's people do the thing. You know the story. This is absolutely the Tonya version, hence I, Tonya, which has some basis in fact but is super kind when it comes to its subject matter. So if you fucking hate Tonya, which I imagine we all still do, keep that in mind.

She had me at "suck my dick"
This is not the movie for you if you are squeemish when it comes to domestic violence. It is brutal and fucking sucks. We start out seeing little Tonya acting exactly like you'd expect, her mom (played by Janney) drinking like a chimney, chain-smoking, so forth, is super abusive. Doesn't like it when Tonya doesn't land tricks like many a Olympic parent, I'm sure. Beats her for all kinds of stuff. Then she meets Jeff played by the guy who is Bucky in the MCU movies and was the asshole 80s guy in Hot Tub Time Machine. He beats her for the rest of the movie and even almost shoots her once. He is fucking terrible. They all are. But it's great.

Probably the thing I was most impressed with aside from the performances, again, fucking sick, was how they shot the skating. Not only does it seem that Robbie is an Olympic level skater (which she obviously is not) through effects and what have you but you end up on the ice with her as she rushes through her routines. It's a pretty dope effect. 

Favorite scene though was when she got screwed at an event early in her career and the judge told her it was because she looked like a bull-dyke and Tonya told her to "suck my dick." Classic and classy. My kind of gall, that one. 

Overall, it was pretty cool to go back in time and relive all that shit with an insider's perspective. Up to that point it was some of the craziest shit ever. I mean it is still nuts. Reality train wrecks were already carving their way through the zeitgeist in the early 1990s (before Tonya there was Buttafuoco, John Wayne Bobbitt, the kid getting caned in Singapore, Lyle and Erik, the Gulf War, so forth)   but at the time it seemed like that really escalated it. Then, like we see at the end of the flick, OJ came along, did his thing, and now fucking Trump is the goddamned President. But yeah. Dope movie.

1 comment:

Craig Clarke said...

Thank you. This is the most fun I’ve had reading a review in a long time.