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Posted byThe Paddington Paradox3 months ago
Moderator of r/movies
Discussion

Official Discussion: I, Tonya [SPOILERS]

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Summary:

Tonya Harding is one of the most skilled female skaters in the United States but is often kept down by her low class and overbearing mother. As she rises to the national stage her relationship with her abusive husband and "the incident" with Nancy Kerrigan will change her from scrappy underdog to the most hated woman in the country.

Director: Craig Gillespie

Writers: screenplay by Captain America

Cast:

  • Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding

  • Mckenna Grace as young Tonya Harding

  • Sebastian Stan as Jeff Gillooly

  • Allison Janney as LaVona Fay Golden

  • Julianne Nicholson as Diane Rawlinson

  • Caitlin Carver as Nancy Kerrigan

  • Bojana Novakovic as Dody Teachman

  • Paul Walter Hauser as Shawn Eckhardt

  • Bobby Cannavale as Hard Copy producer

  • Dan Triandiflou as Bob Rawlinson

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%

Metacritic: 76/100

After Credits Scene? No

1.1k comments
95% Upvoted
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My friends and I are pretty sure they included the actual footage of Shawn Eckhardt in the credits to reassure people they weren’t making up how delusionally stupid he was.

definitely, for me that was actually my main problem watching the movie, the shawn bit was just kinda unbelievable and he became kinda annoying after a while by being just too dumb. Just imagine my shock when the actual footage appeared...

Completely agree. I kinda wish they’d shown something to clarify that they were actually real earlier on, I spent most of the movie assuming they were exaggerated. I think I’ll have a very different reaction on a rewatch.

owner of 5 Bags Cinema232 points·3 months ago

it says it's basically all real at the start, even if it's contradictory

That’s true, but phrases like that have been so badly abused in the past I almost entirely disregard them.

I think that was one of the more interesting points the movie was trying to make. Hollywood films about real events always have a slant or change things from what really happened to make them more interesting. “Based on a true story” hardly ever means “accurate”. But the inclusion of the multiple unreliable narrators actually makes the movie seem more authentic to the truth of the story even though we didn’t get a straightforward story like a lot of movies would.

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owner of 5 Bags Cinema54 points·3 months ago

no way dude, he was the funniest part because they tell you at the start this is all basically real

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I wish they had more of the real footage in the credits. Seeing Tonya's real mother with an actual bird on her shoulder was surprising too.

is there a way to see some of this footage? Is it on youtube?

This doc is really great with tons of footage and recent interviews, it’s $2 on YouTube.

165 points·3 months ago

On a somewhat related note, at the end when they tell you where everyone is now, the part where she wanted to make sure everyone knew she was a good mom got to me. It felt like she really impressed on them that she absolutely wanted everyone to know that she was not like her mom, as if it was the 1 thing she really wanted in the movie.

I feel like it’s the same for the mother too. Allison Janney played her as outlandish but she was just like Tonya’s real mother. Definitely a lot of “truth is stranger than fiction” cases in this movie.

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absolutely. I remember thinking, especially towards the end, "there is no way this dude was actually this dumb, this is just bad writing to make everyone hate this character"

nope lol

I thought he was the best written character in the whole movie. Usually when a dumb character is written by a smart person, the character only comes out as a caricature, goofy, or charming. Bumbling goon types. This guy was so fantastic. He spoke like an idiot speaks. There was just no getting through to someone this thick. We all know someone like this, and I felt that same frustration as I watched him on screen. My immediate thought was, "this isn't going to be talked about enough."

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The Paddington ParadoxOriginal Poster216 points·3 months ago

Lol yeah I thought that role was way over the top but then the archival footage revealed it was just right.

The casting was so spot-on...particularly for Shawn, but also Allison Janney ended up resembling the real mom so much in the movie.

What's funny is Tonya's actual Mom met with the writer and director at some point mid-production (up to this point, they had assumed she was dead until she popped up out of no where for some nationally covered interview)...

And upon seeing Allison Janey dressed in character, Mrs. Harding scoffed voicing that she looked/acted nothing like her LOL

This is something that Margot Robbie said at the Q&A a month back when I went to go watch the film. That when they first screened it, people didn’t know it was real so they needed to include the real footage to make sure people know it was based on real events

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He made me so angry! I wanted to crawl through the screen and strangle his fat neck!

Can't strangle what isn't there

The opposite. It's ALL neck with a tiny face embedded in there somewhere. Turns out, it's the greatest defense against choking. He would know, being a world renowned counter-terrorist mastermind, and all.

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My entire theater laughed louder than they had at any part of the movie during that part of the credits. Like we all collectively couldn't believe someone could be that dumb in real life.

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My favorite scene was when Tonya's mom tried to sympathize with her after the incident, only to end the conversation by trying to bust Tonya with a wire. I actually fell for it just like Tonya did.

She was using a tape recorder in her pocket and not a professionally hidden wire. She was almost certainly trying to get a confession that she could sell to places like Hard Copy. That makes it an even bigger betrayal than if she was wearing a wire to help an investigation.

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"I'm not meeting you at the fucking stroke of midnight"

Favorite line in the movie. Was hilarious as shit.

Margot Robbie's scene with the judge towards the end really made the movie for me

That gave me chills. So well done

I kind of welled up a little with the scene in the mirror when she's putting on makeup. So many ranges of emotion. Crying, determination, cracking, smiling, lipstick on the teeth, tears down the cheek.

Margo Robbie goddamn sold it.

I could see that if you were part of the hate mob initially, but as someone who wasn't that scene was kind of silly.

I think it was still a poignant moment, even for those like me who were too young to fully comprehend what was happening back then. We still demonize and abuse public figures on the regular.

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The pleading from an otherwise strong character. It hit something in me too.

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371 points·3 months ago

Fucking LOVED it.

This movie made me realize how boring and identical most movie characters are. 90% iterations of Tom Cruise, and then iterations of Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, James Bond, and Robert Downy Jr.

In contrast, this film was full of bizarre, complex characters.

The way they made it work (imo) is that they didn't feel compelled to explain why everyone acted the way they did. You could figure out the gist by the end of the movie, but they just set up everyone's motivations and let characters' actions speak for themselves.

100% . Almost a revisionist history tale everyone thinks they know. You could give two fucks about figure skating but the way they developed Tonya you were ecstatic when she finally landed the triple Axel. I could care less the story but create a narrative that speaks to the human condition and I am sold.

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313 points·3 months ago

"Written by Captain America" hehe

Co-starring The Winter Soldier

And Harley Quinn!

Fuck, wrong universe.

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It’s worth noting that this is the first film produced by Margot Robbie and the company she founded, LuckyChap Entertainment. She said she wanted to get more interesting female lead scripts off the ground as a producer and to have more diverse and quality roles as an actress.

So this is kinda Margot’s big passion project and her and her company’s career hinged on this film. The fact that it’s getting awards buzz is huge and I’m rooting for her!

(She’s also going to produce the Harley Quinn film and has been working on it since 2015 apparently)

Read somewhere that they were going to make Gotham City Sirens (Harley, Poison Ivy and Catwoman) and Ayer was set to direct. CAN WE PLEASE NOT?!?!?! My god, do not EVER let Ayer near female characters and ensemble movies again. Honestly, at the hands of someone who can handle this the right way, this could be huge.

There's no need to sexualize Harley, Margot's already incredibly attractive on her own. Ass shots and changing into a custom shots and constant obnoxious music playing over every scene? No thank you. It's insulting to the viewers!

Basically : Suicide squad was baaaaad and I want a Harley movie - but I want it done right.

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Well that's not entirely accurate. The production company is a joint venture between her and her husband who is also an experienced director. There are two other producers on this movie too, and one is the producer of The Hunger Games, and the other is the producer of P.S. I Love You. So it's not really clear how much of an active hand Robbie had in assembling this other than selecting the script as a star vehicle for herself.

Also worth noting that it's not at all unusual for actors to also be producers as it's a really easy role to slip into from their position. So Alicia Vikander has a production company, Selina Gomez does, Jessica Chastain does, Reece Witherspoon, Drew Barrimore, Charlize Theron, Sandra Bullock. And so on. There's a whole lot. Jennifer Lawrence is producing a movie starring herself next year.

So yeah, I think it's fair to say that most actresses are interested in getting more female led scripts off the ground when they're starring in them, because they're female, and all of them want better roles for themselves.

168 points·3 months ago

"So it's not really clear how much of an active hand Robbie had in assembling this other than selecting the script as a star vehicle for herself"

Ive seen interviews with her and director Craig Gillespie and she seemed pretty heavily involved. Not only did she select the script, she also helped pick the director. She talks about watching footage everyday while filming, to check on continuity, art department etc and was eager to contribute because she felt she could offer a unique perspective as an actor that her producing partners may not pick up on.

Gillespie talks about how she would go from producer trying to organise the schedule for the next day and then pull off a really emotional scene as an actor a few minutes later. And even Brian Unkeless, her producing partner, talks about how she travelled all the way to London to meet with an artist in order to book music for the soundtrack to the movie.

I think Margot genuinely put the work in as a producer. Its not just a vanity title.

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That scene where he says America found a new obsession and the camera lingers on OJ on the TV, genius.

It does kind of make you think though, if OJ hadn’t happened 6 months later, would Tonya Harding been the big story of 94?? What about afterwards?? You had OKC Bombing in 95, but even then OJ’s trial was still probably the biggest story of 1995. Of course, I’m basing this on memories of my childhood, I was 7 when this all happened, but I remember my Mom especially fixating on it, she’s a big Olympics fan though.

well back then, every one of these "news" would last a lot longer than today's, for example, even horrible shit like bombs on cities or massacres barely get a week on tv before moving on to something else, but back then it was different, still, if it wasnt OJ, something else was bound to happen.

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That last scene with Tonya as she breaks down in front of the judge at the trial was amazing. Robbie sold it so well.

I cried. I grew up figure skating, but just missed the Tonya Harding controversy (I was a toddler when it happened). It was all about Tara Lipinksi and Michelle Kwan when I was skating #TeamMichelle.

When she kept begging for the judge to let her serve instead of taking skating from her life I couldn't help but cry along with her. I still didn't come out thinking she was completely innocent. Maybe that's because it was deeply rooted in me by the figure skating world that she's guilty, but I still empathized with her.

She wasn't completely innocent, but yeah, lifetime ban = life sentence, which seems harsh compared to the nothing punishments the actual perps got. I felt bad too.

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For some reason Sebastian Stan's voice is.... Not what I expected after watching him as winter soldier

I thought He did a good job imitating the real life Jeff Gillooly for the movie after seeing the real footage. Sebastian’s voice IRL sounds even slightly different from WS.

I saw him do a Q&A after this movie and he said he endlessly listened to tapes of the dude so that he could nail every little nuance of his voice. Like he would fall asleep listening to the guy talking, would drive around listening to tapes of him, the whole nine yards. He (and everyone else in the film) really did a phenomenal job.

I think he also mentioned in an interview or something about meeting up with some of the Avengers cast members at a bar in his I, Tonya look and no one could recognize who he was :p

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owner of 5 Bags Cinema49 points·3 months ago

and he lost a ton of muscle mass!

Still looked jacked for a high schooler in those early scenes. It was hard to buy him and Margot as that young, but it didn't bother me that much.

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They did such a good job making a beautiful person so ugly.

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Just to add my two cents, I'm younger and had no clue who Tonya Harding was before seeing this movie. When I watched it, I very much felt sympathy for her and saw it as sort of an underdog story and rooted for her, but after finishing it when I looked up about the real story, I had no idea how much people hated her. I'm not sure if this is because the movie sensationalized her story or if everyone who had known about it previously just didn't know the true story behind the scenes with her. Anyway, I just find it interesting how a movie can make me really feel for her when irl she is such a hated character. It goes to show how POV can change a story and character, like whether it's in a biopic or 24 hour news.

Remember how she jokes in the film that people misremember she personally carried out the attack on Nancy? I think that is spot on. It would not surprise me if a great deal of people actually believed that.

I grew up in the 90's and was told that she had personally done it

I literally went into the moving thinking that, and I also told a few people that was what happened when I spoke of the movie in the last few weeks. The movie certainly sweetened up Tonya's side of the story, but at the same time the hatred and misinformation directed at her to begin with were a bit lopsided, so maybe it evens out a bit now.

I thought Jeff Gillooly personally did it.

I remember it happening at the olympics, so the movie was spot on how everyone misremembers it.

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I actually knew of the story before watching the movie and watched the 30 by 30 they did on her last year (or maybe a few years ago) and I also felt major empathy for her after seeing this. I don’t remember feeling that bad for her after watching the documentary. Chalk that up to Margot Robbie or the way the story was told... I’m not sure, but I read somewhere that it wasn’t his intention to answer whether she was guilty or not. He just wanted to tell the story from all the different view points he was given during his interviews with the various people involved.

I saw the 30 for 30 first, so I saw this film as biased in the opposite direction. When you see her in that, it's impossible not to dislike her. My personal gripe with the film is that they spent too much time making Tonya the perfect victim and turning the incident into the act of a bumbling fool that it didn't do the horror and weight of what happened justice. I, Tonya definitely portrays her as innocent to the physical attack. I think there's definitely a way to show that Tonya was unfairly implicated by Gillooly & co. while showing how much Nancy really suffered because of this. Also, I think it was a giant misstep to set up a friendship between the two women, then ignore that the entire rest of the film.

My personal gripe with the film is that they spent too much time making Tonya the perfect victim and turning the incident into the act of a bumbling fool

I disagree.

The filmmaker was simply telling the story (contradictions and all) as it was given to him by Tonya and Gillooly's POV. The filmmaker doesn't paint Tonya the victim. IMO it painted Tonya as incapable of accepting responsibility. There's a reason we got all of those scenes of her making shitty decisions/wrongdoings immediately followed by her cries of "IT WASN'T MY FAULT".

That gave me just enough to tease her culpability without spoon-feeding whether the writer/director believes she had a heavy say/knowledge of it all. Especially seeing that they are telling Tonya's story from Tonya. I, Tonya.

Well I took their friendship as something Tonya might have exaggerated about... were they really that good of friends? Or was that something she told her interviewers to try to convince them of her innocence?

I think it's pretty clear from the movie that they weren't "real" friends, just people who knew each other through competition and got along well together when they shared hotel rooms

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89 points·3 months ago

Yeah, the implication wasn't "they were besties!" it was "Tonya Harding doesn't exactly know what 'friends' are"

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I never really got that they were friends. They were just people that probably saw each other a lot at various competitions and developed camaraderie

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206 points·3 months ago·edited 3 months ago

I remember seeing bits and pieces of the story on tv as a kid. I laughed when, in the movie, she says some people thought she brutally whacked Kerrigan herself.

Because that's exactly what I had thought at the time and being a kid, I was rather unconcerned with the details and facts of the matter.

Found the movie incredibly informative and I truly feel sympathy for her. Completely robbed of her life.

Also Margot Robbie gets my vote for an Oscar, no question.

I laughed when, in the movie, she says some people thought she brutally whacked Kerrigan herself.

Because that's exactly what I had thought at the time and being a kid, I was rather unconcerned with the details and facts of the matter.

Exact same thing here. I was too young to really care about (or understand) the full story, so I just kind of built this story in my head of Tonya doing the attack personally. By the time the story faded away, that's kind of just what I assumed happened for many years after the fact.

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Comment deleted3 months ago(22 children)

Soooo, I don't know anything about this film or the incident, but I'm guessing that Tonya was "lower-class" and Nancy was much prettier and wealthier?

Prettier is debatable. Wealthier is spot on. Tonya was seen as the low-class trailer trash that was so good she could have been the face of the sport. Figure Skating as a whole hated that. Their sport was seen as elite and for the wealthy and proper. Nancy fit that mold. By all accounts, Tonya was the superior skater, but not the image they wanted, so they purposefully gave her lower scores.

Nancy Kerrigan wasn't all that wealthy. According to Wikipedia, her parents were a welder and a homemaker (not sure exactly what that is, but it can't be bringing in too much). Still beats having one parent, a waitress, who's abusive, though.

The real difference was image. Nancy came from a stable family, but she wore the costumes and skated to the music that the judges wanted for the sport. Tonya skated to ZZ Top and Disney soundtracks, and her more muscular figure (which allowed her to do the triple axel) wasn't the ideal image for female skaters.

homemaker (not sure exactly what that is

Damn, how young is everyone on Reddit?

I just wasn't sure whether it meant she was a housewife or a housekeeper.

That kinda proves his comment tho

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I believe "homemaker" is just another term for like housewife.

Yeah, it's an older way of saying, "stay at home mom"

I was about 11 or so and I recall them now as Kerrigan being an Anne Hathaway “clean” look and Tonya being more of an....uglier blonde “Pam Beasley” with that terrible hair.

Classy pretty suburban trophy wife vs older dive bar blonde mother of 3 type

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Tonya changes her story a lot. Recently she came out and said she DID know they were making plans to mess with her competitors.

I think it's pretty believable she had a lot to do with the attack.

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Comment deleted3 months ago(2 children)

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FWIW, when this happened, it was the biggest story in the world for several weeks if not for many months.

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I YouTubed some of the competition footage afterwards and it’s pretty uncanny how accurate it played out (particularly the olympics performance). Also I enjoyed the pacing of the movie and that it didn’t take itself so seriously. Really good film

They showed clips during the credits of some of the actual footage, looked comparable

166 points·3 months ago

Anyone else think that Shawn Eckhardt is the personification of r/iamverybadass? That's what I thought of when I saw his interview was actually real. Still a bit mind blown.

I loved all that 4th wall breakage by Tonya.

557 points·3 months ago·edited 3 months ago

Really did not expect to like this movie as much as I did. It managed to be brutally sad and funny at the same time.

I remember the whole Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan thing when it happened. So dramatic and everyone did go nuts. But realize that Tonya Harding already had kind of a rep for being problematic before this. She did not conform to the expected personal or physical standard for a pro figure skater. So the narrative became "jumped up white trash bad sport throws a beat down on American skating princess."

This is not to diss Nancy Kerrigan-- what happened to her was totally fucked up and must have been terrible. I'm talking about how the media framed it. Meantime, if you look at the court records, it's pretty clear that Gillooly and his stupid friend concocted this plan and then, when Tonya told on them, they threw her under the bus because she covered for them when it first happened.

Harding definitely got a worse beat down, in the long run, than anyone else involved. The only thing she had going for her was skating, and she lost that, lifetime. Her mother was physically and emotionally abusive-- the urinating on the ice scene really did happen because her mother didn't want her to waste a second of the ice time she paid for. She also did hit her, in front of people. Harding married basically the first guy who asked, to get away from her mom, and then he wound up hitting her too.

If you watch Harding's 1991 long form program in the US Figure Skating Championship, she looks so pathetically overjoyed and proud that she did a perfect performance-- because, for once, she knew she would have to win. And she did. That was it for her. It is tragic because she suffered a lifetime of abuse before that, peaked, and then got screwed over by her idiot ex.

This movie portrays just how tawdry, trashy, awful, and damaged all these people were/are. I had forgotten all about the whole thing, because really, it's ice skating, who cares. I never really thought about Tonya Harding's life or how guilty she really was in all of it until this movie. In that sense, I think it was really effective. Was it parodic, OTT, and played as kind of a black comedy satire? Yeah, but it also portrays the spirit of the entire "incident" and everyone involved. No one is likable. Everyone is creepy. In fact, I could swear I read a quote somewhere from LaVona Golden about abusing Tonya as a kid. She said, "Yeah, I hit Tonya. It's just a natural reaction that people have when they're around her." For real.

Also, Allison Janney for Best Supporting Actress. Calling it right now. Can't imagine anyone beating her (no pun intended, god that was awful, sorry).

One thing that struck me was how completely, horribly bleak the story would have been without the comedic take. I think they did a really nice job of balancing terribly dark subject matter with comedy.

I will be shocked if Janney doesn't get nominated for Best Supporting Actress -- she's joined my list of best female antagonists of all time. Robbie better get nominated for best actress as well, she was an emotional powerhouse in this. The scene where she was having a meltdown putting on her makeup was perfect.

The scene where she was having a meltdown putting on her makeup was perfect.

Yes! I was thinking the same exact thing. As I was watching it I was like "this is her Oscar moment."

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I think you hit the nail on the head. The tone of the movie captured the "spirit" of the incident, while still being compassionate toward its protagonist.

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I liked this a lot more than I expected to. The triple axel scene was fucking awesome.

I never thought I would say this, but yes, the triple axel scene was fucking awesome indeed.

That scene near the end where she’s trying to make herself smile will win Margot Robbie an Oscar. It hit my core. Calling it right now.

I agree that that scene was some special acting and definitely deserves to be nominated, but Margot wasn't even nominated for best actress by many critics and award ceremonies. I think she will eventually win one eventually though if she doesn't get it for this performance. I think she is really something special if you watch her work, pay attention to her range, and especially if you are aware of her stereotypical normal Australian accent. I would recommend Suicide Squad if not just for her performance in that alone, the film as a whole is not very good, very mediocre.

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“My storyline is disappearing right now. WHAT! THE! FUCK!” might be the best line ever in a movie

I really loved this movie, and I came out of it feeling incredibly bad for Tonya Harding. The events of this movie happened three years before I was born, though, so I wonder if my sympathy for Tonya and her situation would be different if I had experienced the media circus first hand.

Also, I loved Sebastian Stan in this movie. (But I also hated Sebastian Stan in this movie because the character he portrayed was just so despicable, although I realize some "unreliable narrator" stuff may be in play here.) I really hope he gets some award recognition as well as Margot Robbie.

I just found this article that "fact checks" I, Tonya, and if anything, her real life was even more harrowing than shown in the film.

http://www.vulture.com/2017/12/a-fact-checked-guide-whats-true-and-whats-not-in-i-tonya.html

Check out the stuff about her sexual assault by her half brother, who actually went to prison for what he did to her... then read what her mother had to say about the whole thing. Jeez, and you wonder why she chose to marry the first guy who asked.

A lot of the other outlandish things that happened in the movie really did happen, in some form or other. I wish the media had provided this much context in 1994, but that would have ruined their Good v. Evil narrative.

It was very entertaining. Margot Robbie would get the best actress nominations for this knock out performance for sure.

253 points·3 months ago·edited 3 months ago

Margot is gonna get a nomination, but Janney is gonna win best supporting actress for sure.

171 points·3 months ago

Nope. Laurie Metcalfe.

50 points·3 months ago·edited 3 months ago

I think if Saoirse wins best actress (and I think either she or the Frances McDormand will win) I doubt they'd give both leading and supporting awards to actresses from the same movie. But if she doesn't, then probably yeah.

The Oscars did that with Jared Leto/Matthew McConaughey and Christian Bale/Melissa Leo.

Janney and McDormand gave great performances, but they were more theatrical and character-y. Janney had this crazy outfit and makeup and was put in some really crazy situations. McDormand was surrounded by dopes she could slay with some great one-liners. Ronan and Metcalfe subtly gave better performances that were more endemic and essential to the movie.

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175 points·3 months ago

Everyone's praising Margot Robbie, but Allison Janney is the one who really deserves an Oscar for her role.

"Well my storyline is disappearing...what the fuck?!" BEST LINE EVER

"Stop that..."

"I'm sorry but you can't smoke on the ice."

"Oh, well I'll smoke it quietly then."

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This is the year of great mom performances. This, Lady Bird, Big Sick. Am I missing any?

130 points·3 months ago·edited 3 months ago

Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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This film surprised the hell out of me, wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did. The cast is outstanding! I truly believe Sebastian Stan deserves a best supporting actor nomination, not sure why there is no buzz for him like Robbie and Janney.

Definitely agree. All three of them were amazing and it’s a damn shame he’s not getting any notice. The scene when he was threatening to kill Tonya and himself was really well acted.

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Saw this movie last weekend and I was impressed. But after hearing a radio show talker say he didn't want to see it due to glamorization made me want to give my two bits.

I, Tonya gives the viewer 5-6 distinct, unreliable, and real narrators. You have Tonya, her ex husband/manager, her ex's friend, her mother, her trainer, and a few people she had contact with over time. Tonya and her ex are probably most unreliable of the group, but even in their stories there is truth. Her mother, the friend, and the trainer I take as being more reliable. The mother admits in so little words to being hard and uncaring, but you see glimpses of regret and love. The friend is the original neck beard of the late 80's early 90's and is so caught up in his own personal fantasies that even his lies let you see the kind of person he is. And the trainer, she has nothing to lie about. Her part in the story is as the one who helped Tonya improve at 2 of the most crucial times in her career.

The movie also gives us a good, hard look at the story behind the news story. The poverty, home life, abuse, and anger seethes at every seem. As someone who grew up around and had family in very similar situations, it was easy to connect. Abandonment is the paramount theme of the film. At some point Tonya and the other people either abandon or are abandoned. Whether it be leaving the trainer, her father leaving her with her mother, leaving her mother, leaving her husband, her husband throwing shade on his friend, the skating world rejecting Tonya as a child, the courts and skating world baring Tonya from ever being near the ice, and the world's fickle feelings for Tonya. Tonya went from nobody, to the girl who could, the the girl who can't, to the monster, and the girl that might, and finally to the woman we forgot as quickly as we accepted her. Even without the Nancy Kerrigan attack, Tonya Harding would either be no one today or a low level skating trainer. Other than her appearances on TruTv and the occasional interview of sound bites, no one cares about Tonya or Nancy anymore. Imagine going from the spotlight to the darkness of obscurity in less than 6 years. I don't root for Tonya in the film, but I do see her as human rather than a monster or some obscure caricature that we have made her into.

The people who made this movie don't want you to root for anyone in it. They just want to tell their story from the given perspective of the people who lived it. And even the film makers make nods to reliability or truthfulness of the people they are portraying. Their is no hero in the film, just a lot of people who made choices they will always be defined by.

It's a well made film by all accounts too. The 4th wall moments aren't that jarring as some claim, but they do feel like part of the narrative. We have 5 story tellers telling their parts of a tale separately and the film makers cobbled it together that way. So when something happens that involves two or more of the narrators, sometimes we get to hear the contradictions or the calling out of the other narrators. My only issue with the skating portion is the occasional glaring CGI in the final spins.

And if you read the end scrolls and watch the actual interviews that the ones in the film are based on it helps solidify the human quality. Tonya's last quote is about how she is a good mother. That stuck with me more than anything else. Because if she is truthful, then all the evil and darkness that occurred at least gave her the reason to be a better parent to her child.

Finally an official thread for this!

This movie's style is so novel. It's so rough around the edges by design and uses the unreliable narrator trope to the maximum. The only issue I had with it was how it brushed off Nancy Kerrigan as a plot device only, and not as a real character that was basically the victim in this entire situation. One of the movie's goals was to explain Tonya's side and it did succeed in being sympathetic, but when you realize how Nancy's whole experience in this mess is erased, that sympathy doesn't really seem earned.

IMO, I thought that they minimized Nancy’s character to show that Tonya was focused more on herself (skating, personal relationships) and less on the other competitors.

Agreed, although they did make it a point to show that Tonya and Nancy were friends as well as teammates. Wouldn't it have been interesting to see what happened to that relationship also? Instead, they made Nancy's character essentially a prop.

I think the part of them being friends is contested though, they shared hotels together and maybe were friendly but friends maybe too much. I thought it was a good way to acknowledge it while leaving if a question to if they were friends or not.

That didn't bother me because this movie simply wasn't about Nancy. It's not like they made Nancy a villain.

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The CGI where they pasted Robbie's face on a stunt skater was awful, everything else was great.

That's not just a CGI face, the whole person is CGI. The only two people alive today who can do that move weren't willing to do it for the movie.

Mirai Nagasu is one of them and just landed her spot on the US women’s team for the Olympics!

Only the triple axel was full CGI I think. Almost every shot of her moving with any kind of speed was face-pasted though.

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owner of 5 Bags Cinema50 points·3 months ago

yeah she's zooming around full speed just get a lookalike and pan out with multiple cuts

There are only two active female figure skaters in the world able to land a triple axel at the time of filming. They did not want to shoot the scenes because they did not want to risk an injury leading up the Winter Olympics.

its as thou editors are showing off how good the effect are judging by how frequent they do this in the movie. its indeed very awful

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This movie felt like a Coen Brothers movie but it was based on a true story. It's kinda hard to believe this stuff was true and I know it might not be true cause they could be lying but I just mean most of the main story.

When I recommend it to anyone, I say it's the perfect blend of Coen Brothers and Scorsese. Sort of like Burn After Reading meets Goodfellas, I would say.

Some might say it's the Goodfellas of figure skating

Not being snarky just thought it was neat to see that on the poster and then see people lean that way after seeing the movie.

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I haven't seen the movie yet, but from what I remember of the story when it went down, and from what I know of the film's story, it should be pretty spot on.

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Don't hit your kids, folks.

Fun (not so fun?) fact: the anniversary of the Karrigan knee clubbing is Jan 6th - 24 years ago Saturday

Raw footage from that day

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Really, really enjoyed this one. Not only does it successfully turn Tonya Harding into an empathetic figure, it does so with a shit ton of pitch black comedy, fourth wall breaks, mock/doc style interviews, and a soundtrack that's so overtly "too cool for school" that it's almost a joke in and of itself. It sounds so cheesy written down like that, but it all came together perfectly. Nailed the humorous tone to allow for the emotional moments to shine through, and Robbie absolutely crushed it with every comedic and dramatic beat. Shawn was so idiotically hilarious that it felt like he was straight out of a Coen Bros. script. Just an endlessly entertaining watch, like a mixture of The Big Short meets Fargo meets Steve Jobs.

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I wanna see the guy who played Shawn in everything. Dude stole every scene he was in. So fucking hilarious.

I suspect he spent months on Reddit arguing and munching Cheetos in preparation for his role.

[deleted]
16 points·3 months ago

"There's other way to disable people so, your welcome"

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Like every other movie I've wanted to see in the last month, if this would open anywhere near me I'd love to go see it.

One theater, 25 mins away, is finally showing it but only for 4 nights next week.

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I watched this last night and then I watched it again tonight. The reason is because I read some things on this thread that made me think that I hadn't really been paying attention the first time.

It's true when Margot is reliving Tonya's best skating moment ever, she says (about her greatest moment on ice) that, "No one ever asks me about that anymore" she wasn't kidding. As it seems no one ever did. And they should have.

The other hard moment was at the end, where Margot/Tonya is incredulous that she can never skate again in any official capacity. That was pretty harsh. They should have just let her do the jail time. They didn't have to take her whole life away from her. And what a coach Tonya might have been.

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I honestly thought either Sebastian Stan or Allison Janney should be in the talks for an Oscar in some way shape or form, they were both excellent, honestly I think a little bit more stronger than Margot Robbie, who was very good as well.

The scene of her putting on the makeup and the pain in her face as she tried to fake the smile really did it for me. She was great.

38 points·3 months ago·edited 3 months ago

Got out of a showing a few hours ago, and I gotta admit I really, really enjoyed it. Much like a lot of younger people in the early 90's (am 32 now), I grew up thinking that Tonya did the actual incident against Kerrigan herself for some reason. Absolutely loved Allison Janney's performance in this; and am rooting for her in the awards. I don't know about everyone else, but there were several "Ohh"'s and "Damn!"'s just about every time Gillooly struck Harding in my showing, and made me wanna punch him in the face myself.

And that scene towards the end when she broke down in front of the judge just about broke my heart. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did going in to it, but if I had to re-do my Top 10 list of 2017, this would be on there (didn't get the chance to see it before now, as it just started showing in a theater in my area).

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As a lower middle class trashy girl who was involved in competitive dance, I am so excited to see this movie. I haven't seen it yet. Will probably be seeing it tomorrow.

Was a small kid when this all happened so I came out of the movie feeling very bad for Tonya. Told my family in the family app group, and immediately my dad goes full-on rage mode saying 'Tonya was the bitch and Kerrigan the victim', defending Kerrigan and brutally beating Tonya down with everything he had in him, 24 fucking years later. Just goes to show how incredibly persistent that media narrative was. And we're European, not even American, for Christ's sakes.

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If you liked this movie, I HIGHLY encourage you to watch the ESPN documentary “The Price of Gold”. It’s an easy, fantastic watch. Great documentary to accompany the movie

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After seeing the movie (loved it by the way), I want to believe she didn't know what was happening... ...but why would she write down Nancy's schedule?

21 points·3 months ago·edited 3 months ago

This is the one point that makes me believe she was in on the planning of the attack, or at least had knowledge of it's planning. For me, that removes some degree of sympathy for her. If it was planned and executed behind her back by people (Gilooly & co) trying to profit off of her olympic fame but then ended up destroying her career, I'd feel terrible for her. It would be too devastating to think about. But no, I think that lone fact points to the strong possibility that she knew about and approved of the hit.

Yeah, I've read more about her case after watching this and I have to say, the note with Nancy Kerrigan's training facility name, address and when she'd be there in Tonya's handwriting, paired with the "hitmen" being confirmed as staking the place out at that time is a damning piece of evidence. I'd really like to believe there's a good explanation for that because she was so sympathetic otherwise but it doesn't look good.

I couldn't get enough of the "Human Sacrifice" vibe from this. The very self aware presence in the story of "We know why you came to this movie, you know why you came to this movie." was so present in all the fourth wall breaks and then eventually when "Chain" by fleetwood mac was playing they just opened it up and held on Tonya staring at the audience calling everyone out for being a part of the massive need to watch someone get destroyed on tv.

They also got across the impact of the domestic violence so well. Even going into this movie you were more than likely to know that Tonya Harding was both physically and emotionally abused in her life and every time it happened it still supprised and shook you. I got to see it at a full theater and when her husband hits her you could really feel the whole room shake. I really liked this movie.

I never knew about her abuse, her poverty, or any of that. All I ever saw was Nancy. Tonya was this monster in the background who hurt Nancy. I never knew about the triple until I saw the movie. I never knew about the plotting of her husband and his friends.

Watching that movie, all I could think of was my dad's family and my mom's grandmother. It was like watching twisted home movies of what my mom and dad never wanted to be like. Spot on if you ask me.

I've been seeing a little blowback about this movie, but I didn't get it at all. I didn't think it glamorized/sanitized Tonya as much as showed the complete picture about her life. I got the impression they showed her (and all the characters) to be unreliable narrators to avoid straight-out taking her side.

The music killed me because when I got home I looked up some of Tonya's routines and she really did use those songs lol.

I loved this movie, but I don't see how anyone could come out of this film thinking Tonya was a likeable character. It was like a modern day Greek tragedy

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Amazing. Margot Robbie was a fucking revelation.

[deleted]
14 points·3 months ago

"Suck my dick"

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Movie was pretty good. Margot was fantastic. I had no idea about Tonya before the film and after the movie, I think it is bitter-sweet.

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[deleted]
25 points·3 months ago

One of the best acted films of 2017. Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, and Allison Janney are all phenomenal.

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I did not expect to be so moved by this movie as I was. The bending of genres was really something - especially taking a dark subject as abuse and making comedic lightness of it. I feel like that made the subject more easily digestible for me while also still telling the story without feeling too manipulative. I really feel for Tonya Harding after this movie and agree with Allison Janey's Golden Globe acceptance speech. This movie made me reconsider the media's narrative (as do recent events) and the disenfranchised. I don't necessarily think Tonya is all the way innocent but I think this movie really showed how complex issues can be distorted into a good and bad narrative in the media. On another note, I'm glad Allison Janey is getting love but wish Margot Robbie got a bit more for her tremendous performance.

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What surprised me most of all was that I was much more intrigued by the beginning/first half of the film than the second half, where the actual assault takes place. Obviously that's the main aspect of the story, but I just felt it sort of fell off a tad when it got really into it.

That being said, I wouldn't be upset to see Robbie get the Oscar. She was fantastic.

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In lack of better words, I thought this movie was amazing. As a person going in with basically no knowledge of this whole incident, I thought the story felt very real (as in not overly blown-up and dramatized, and you could sense how biased the narrators were), the acting was amazing (I really do not have the vocabulary for this), and the last movie I watched that really got my heart racing was Inception.

I don't know how to put this in words, but this movie really took me on an emotional roller coaster. I've never ever watched a movie that was able to capture so well the feeling of people watching you in a crowd (used to do theatre), the nervous energy (butterflies-in-stomach kinda feel) that was in a room when something big was about to happen, and the gut-wrenching moments that either got you rooting for or really disliking a character. The hope and desperation at the end, Tonya's helplessness. Goddang Margot Robbie, man. I'm not sure why this movie was marketed as a comedy as well as a biopic/drama, but it was pretty dang dramatic for me.

I thought the characters were very well written. Everyone was played very believably, and it was easy to empathize with the characters. Maybe besides Shawn. That dude, lol. But, for all the main characters, it was easy to step into their shoes and really understand and feel them, their motives, their goals. Yes, LaVona was a shitty person, but I felt that I understood what she was trying to do, how much she's sacrificed and pushed her daughter and how she really felt that she was doing the right thing, and that she made a damn good athlete.

Okay, I'm out of words. There was definitely something about this movie that really took my breath away, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

I've found myself getting bored with movies that are "based on a true story" lately as they seem like the only "original" thing Hollywood is capable of and interested in producing anymore. And half of the time, they need to spruce up the real story to make it watchable anyway.

But I, Tonya was a huge refresher from that. With the talking heads, 4th wall breaking, biased and inconsistent stories, it was really original and fun. The way it's told is almost like a mix of The Big Short and Bernie. Margot Robbie kicks ass here. And Allison Janney holds her spot as one of my favorite actresses of all time.

I knew nothing about this story before seeing this movie and now I have so many opinions about the whole incident. Not many based on a true story movies are rewatchable, but I can't wait to watch this one again!

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Margot Robbie looks too old for this role. She looks at least 35 years old. I couldn't get into the movie because of my inability to suspend disbelief that this old person was a young talented skater.

Yeah this. The first time Robbie's in the film she's supposed to be FIFTEEN. By the end I assumed she was upwards of 30. Nope, she's TWENTY THREE.

I actually laughed when Margot first appeared. That's how OLD she looked, when she was supposed to be a teen. It was jarring.

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Margot would actually make a really great Nancy Kerrigan.

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23 points·2 months ago·edited 2 months ago

I know this story well because I watched it all unfold in real time. Still this movie held lots of surprises for me and had me googling it's accuracy - of which it seems to mostly hit the mark. Tonya comes off as a highly sympathetic character along with (surprisingly) her former husband - Jeff Gillooly. Meanwhile her mother is probably the worst movie mother since Mommie Dearest. She is skillfully and hatefully portrayed by the "Mom" actress. Even if only half of what happened here to Tonya was true you can't help but feel sympathy for someone who manged (if briefly) to break out of the cycle of poverty/abuse she seemed destined to in order to make her mark (pun intended) on the prissy, stuck-up world of Women's Figure skating.

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I’m honestly super surprised at the hate this movie is getting in this thread. Some people are calling it a terrible movie for trying to find comedy in an incredibly tragic situation, like abuse. Abuse is a terrible thing that shouldn’t happen to anyone, but finding the comedy in a bad situation is something we all do as humans. I don’t think the movie should be penalized for trying to take a different route. I thought it was fantastic

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I Tonya should have been nominated for best picture this year, the story is funny and touching, the performances are top notch! Everything about this movie is excellent! You don't have to be into figure skating to love this movie!

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I thought it was great, it makes me sad to think what would have happened to her life if she had married basically anyone else on the planet. Maybe not a medal winner but she would still have skating in some capacity.

43 points·3 months ago·edited 3 months ago

My only complaint is Margot Robbie portraying a 15 year old. Sure, 18 and the early 20's weren't all that convincing either but that's the norm in a lot of movies. Because the film is so tongue-in-cheek I figured they would have at least acknowledged the age discrepancy like in Private Parts. Characters break the fourth wall in several scenes, and one of them even mentions she is being left out of the movie. Felt like they wasted a perfect opportunity to correct the obvious age discrepancy and get a good joke out of it.

All that being said, the movie was excellent and easily one of the best I've seen this year. Really hoping for a Best Picture nomination. Absolutely loved it.

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43 points·3 months ago·edited 3 months ago

Honestly, I'm so bummed Margot didn't win the GG. Ronan was amazing in Lady Bird, but a couple of times - I could clearly hear her accent come out. Margot was fantastic, playing 3 different ages (15, 23-24 and then 40+) and she actually pulled it off. Amazing job!

That scene after she's told that she can't ever skate again in court - and she's saying "It's like you're giving me a life sentence"... incredible. Wow.

Seriously, Margot Robbie deserves some sort of award for this. If not the Golden Globe, perhaps the Oscar?

Also - seriously in love with Allison. Been in love with her since Drop Dead Gorgeous.

I'm also really happy that they didn't chicken out and kept the "You're all my attackers, too" (is that a spoiler?) in the movie. Honestly, I had no idea what happened (I was born December 1993), and wasn't familiar with this story at all. But I can see how we judge people so easily without knowing their truth. I don't think the movie tried to say Tonya was innocent, but it did try to tell us that we don't know (or didn't) what happened, what everyone felt, why things happened, ... : SO STOP JUDGING.

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I loved this movie. I got like a little big short/goodfellas vibe to the whole feel of the movie. Margot robbie was amazing in this. When she was pleading for the judge to give her a jail sentence I completely empathized with her character. One of the best movies of 2017 for me.

When she was begging to go to jail instead of being banned from skating I got chills from head to toe. Margot Robbie is #1 on my list of "free pass" celebs so I thought I'd be kind of bias towards her performance in this film. I know she's an amazing actress, but during that scene I completely forgot who she was(in the best possible way). I've seriously never been so moved by a performance.

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Just saw this movie, LOVED IT. Excellent acting, excellent music. I was 8 when this happened and remember it pretty vividly...none of the details in the film were ever made apparent during coverage at that time (from what my kid mind remembered). I felt SO much sympathy for Tonya...I'm not a movie cryer, but when they took her ability to compete in skating again I was misty. And her smiling into the mirror while crying...ugh. Honestly, an important movie for this real, living person and tons of low income "white trash" folks out there. Great film.

FML Summer 2017 Winner19 points·3 months ago

The bodyguard stole every scene he was in and the movie was incredible. I was born as this was happening so I only really heard about bits and pieces of what went on periodically in my life, and didn't know much about what had happened or any of the background of Tonya Harding in general.

I will say though that Margot Robbie was a bit too old to be playing a teenager in the earlier portions of the movie when she's first integrated into the movie but I thought she was incredible in this as well.

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18 points·2 months ago·edited 2 months ago

Finally saw this film and holy hell was it fantastic! Clever, immersive, well paced and amazing performances all around. I really loved the way the story was set up, it felt like a very unique way of pacing the film and jumping from one important setpiece of Tonya's life to another while having the very biased and differing narration of all the characters supporting it.

I thought the movie got me to empathize with these really flawed people amazingly and Margot Robbie is definitely worthy of that Oscar nomination and from the nominated performances I've seen so far, she should win as well.

Another little detail I loved was that during the actual skating sequences the film kept the focus on Tonya very well and really made you guess from her reactions whether it was going well or not, instead of the usual thing where they show the other characters' faces and reactions as they watch it happen.

I really think this movie should've been nominated for best picture as well, so far I've seen two of the nominees there - Call Me By Your Name and Three Billboards, and I've got to say I liked I, Tonya better than both of those.

I, Tonya is very fantastic. The structure of the movie is very refreshing, also, it probably has my favorite fourth wall breaking since Deadpool. A unique format with amazing performances across the board (notably Margot Robbie, and Allison Janney).

Oscars for supporting actress will probably go to Janney since her role is very flashy, but I am still rooting for Laurie Metcalf from Lady Bird because the character is much more complex and grounded. It will be the battle of the moms for sure.

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I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I️m curious. How’s Sebastian Stan in it? I️m really rooting for him as an actor

I thought he was great in it.

Seen it. Thought he did a fine job as he always does. I think he has the potential to be a household name but he’s yet to find the role that will catapult him to that level.

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screenplay by Captain America

Fucking Captain America...

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I saw this film completely on a whim. I didn't even know it was about the ice skating thing in the 90s, so I literally had 0 expectations.

I really enjoyed it. I would give it an 8/10. I thought the performances were good, (except for Derrick and Shawna) and I felt like the film was extremely effective. It told an interesting story from the perspective of unreliable narrators with style and class. Ironically I found the 4th wall breaks even more immersive.

I never really cared about the controversy about this event, I was too young when it happened, and I'm not a huge figure skating guy. I've seen some people criticize this film for glorifying a character like Tonya. I don't really feel like this film glorified Tonya, but rather tried to sympathize with her. Tonya was portrayed as a believeable human character, but I wouldn't call her likeable, or even particularly relateable. I could appreciate the story this film tried to tell and I was very entertained through the course of the film.

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The ZZ Top skating scene is one of my favorite scenes from a movie this year

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I loved the movie, really one of the best this year. I experienced the media drama first hand, was 14 at the time, but my memories are playing tricks on me. I have no idea on which side I was.

The Paddington ParadoxOriginal Poster91 points·3 months ago

One thing I wanted to shout out was the CGI in the film. For a low budget thing it was often pretty good, especially the insane amount of face replacement they had to do for the skating scenes.

Too bad it wasn't good during the skate scenes when it mattered.

The face mapping was BRUTAL especially in faster moving scenes. It’s like CGI Margot was constantly a tenth of a second behind the skater.

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i got so emotional at the end when they were showing the real tv clips, i felt so sorry for her...

The only time I truly felt sorry for Tonya during this movie was when the judge banned her for life from figure skating organization. No matter what her involvement with kerrigan that didn't seem right and it was all she had. I know nothing of her life after skating but I hope she found something else.

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Great movie! The acting was tremendous. Allison Janney really put in the performance of her career, which I don't say lightly. I really enjoyed the whole mockumentary type angle it had. Paul Walter Hauser also kinda stole the show for me every time he was on screen.

I'm glad Margot Robbie is finally in a good movie since The Wolf of Wall Street because she totally deserves it. All the acting is great in this movie, especially Sebastian Stan

A story about a trainwreck, told awesomely. Loved every minute.

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Was anyone else distracted by the CGI faces on the skaters? When Robbie was skating and when she was a kid, it was distractingly bad, in my opinion. Otherwise, I liked this movie more than I thought I would and I think I even loved it.

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I hate that thumbnail of Robbie doing the Harding face

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This is one of 2017's best. Really does handle humor with surprising emotion. I think it needed to be this way, a super serious telling would have felt odd. Kind of reminiscent of The Big Short. Think it broke 4th wall a little too much though.

Nice to see a biopic that isn't lifeless. Highly recommended.

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Excellent movie! Very tragic story all around... Does anyone know what part of Washington Tonya and her husband live in? I live in NW Washington and there are lots of landscaping companies around here...what are the odds they’re in my area?

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Paraphrased from the Hard Copy Guy: "The mainstream media mocked us. Then they became us." Loved that quote. And the OJ reference at the end.

In the thumbnail, Margot Robbie looks like Joy from My Name Is Earl.

I quite like Margot's performance, I'm always surprised when she pushes it I keep froegetting she's that good an actress. The film was ok I just feel the interview/reality TV structure in biopics feel a bit overdone, the skating scenes were directed gooood!

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The only gripe I have is that the comedic nature does take away from some of the more serious scenes. I feel like the suicide threat scene with Jeff and all of the abuse lost some of their weight due to the overall tone of the film.

In case it hasn't been posted before: Tonya talks with Margot
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LxaS0e7ibo

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Janney deserves Best Supporting Actress. End of story

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12 points·3 months ago

Have to admit, this is one of the best movies I've seen in years, and I started watching it knowing it was going to suck. Totally admit I was wrong. Fantastic job all the way around. I don't think a supposed hated villain has had that kind of a turn around to loved underdog since Jamie Lannister!

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