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 intervenes.Tonight I went to the opening night film at the Philadelphia Film Festival and it turned out to be “I, Tonya”. I wasn’t particularly thrilled about this, as I really didn’t care much about seeing a biopic about Tonya Harding. In hindsight, I am glad I saw it as the film was exceptionally well directed and the acting was occasionally brilliant. In particular, Australian actress Margot Robbie was simply amazing as Hardingturning in the sort of performance that could mean an Oscar nomination. Likewise, Allison Janney was amazing as well playing Tonya’s incredibly despicable mother. You really have to respect the great job both of them did in the film as well as Robbie’s learning to skate well in order to make this movie.
The film is about the life of Tonya Harding .yes, THAT Tonya Harding the one who gained infamy for her part in the attack on rival ice skater Nancy Kerrigan back in 1994. My daughter was only a small child at the time of the attack and I told her nothing about Harding because I wanted to see her perspective on the story. Both of us left very impressed. However, I must put in a warning about the film. It is very violent .filled with intense and very realistic domestic violence among the most realistic I have ever seen. With my background as a psychotherapist, this churned up a lot of memories for me and the film often had me in tears. If you have been a victim of domestic violence, then I strongly urge you to think twice before you see the picture or at least see it with someone you love. Seeing Tonya being slugged, slapped and even shot was tough to watch. Interestingly, often the audience responded by laughing an inappropriate but thoroughly understandable coping mechanism for such ugliness.