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Published January 24th, 2018
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I know what you are thinking: I know the story and I don't want to see it or hear it again. But you are wrong. "I, Tonya" is a very well-crafted independent film that will make you think differently about Tonya Harding and the infamous attack on Nancy Kerrigan. Trust me on this one.
Based on the unbelievable, but true events, "I, Tonya" is a darkly comedic tale of American figure skater Tonya Harding, and one of the most sensational scandals in sports history. Though Harding was the first American woman to complete a triple axel in competition, her legacy was forever defined by her association with an infamous, ill-conceived, and even more poorly executed attack on fellow Olympic competitor Nancy Kerrigan. Featuring an iconic turn by Margot Robbie ("The Wolf of Wall Street," "Goodbye Christopher Robin") as the fiery Harding, a mustachioed Sebastian Stan ("Captain America") as her impetuous ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, a tour-de-force performance from Allison Janney ("West Wing") as her acid-tongued mother, "I, Tonya" is an absurd, irreverent, and piercing portrayal of Harding's life and career in all of its unchecked and checkered glory.
Janney recently won the Golden Globe for her portrayal as Tonya's outrageous, abusive mother and an Oscar will be handed to her in March at the 2018 Oscar ceremony. Allison, a six-time Emmy Award winner, truly transformed herself. Clips of her performance will be used in years to come as one of the most hated characters in cinematic history, right alongside Nurse Ratched and Hannibal Lecter.
The remaining cast also delivers solid performances. You can tell on the screen that they studied every nuance of the notorious characters they are portraying. Margot Robbie received a Golden Globe nomination and most likely will receive an Oscar nod.
"I, Tonya" is directed by Craig Gillespie ("Million Dollar Arm," "The Finest Hour") and is his best directorial film.
Don't let the trailer mislead you. This is a movie you will enjoy and leave the theatre saying, "Wow, I didn't know or remember that."
"I, Tonya" received a R rating by the MPAA for pervasive language, violence, and some sexual content/nudity. It has a total running time of two hours and is now playing at the Orinda Theatre.

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