2018 | 121 minutes | Rated R
In a sport that worshipped a retrograde notion of femininity, Tonya Harding was considered a freak, even though she was arguably the most technically skilled skater of her time. In the wake of the infamous 1994 attack on Nancy Kerrigan (which she may
or may not
have had a hand in), Harding was further ostracized, transformed by the nascent 24-hour news cycle into a white-trash demoness—so it’s important that any fictional depiction of her life acknowledge that she was also a real person who suffered. I, Tonya
, is a solid attempt, largely thanks to Margot Robbie’s portrayal of a very human, very sympathetic Tonya. Without sugarcoating Harding’s personality or her life, I, Tonya
tells a familiar story of a woman whose life was ruined by hapless, cruel men and sexist gatekeeping. In a moment of heightened awareness around sexual abuse and workplace harassment, Harding’s story couldn’t be more timely. She wasn’t a perfect victim, but her suffering was real. And due to associations with awful men who undermined her career, she lost the one constant in her chaotic life: figure skating.
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