* * * ½
(Biopic of Tonya
This unusual biopic about ice skater Tonya Harding attempts to get at the truth about the infamous “incident” with her competitor, Nancy Kerrigan. Tonya’s life story is told by her mother (Allison Janney), ex-husband (Sebastian Stan), her coach (Diane Rawlinson) and herself (Margot Robbie) with a few conflicting “facts” along the way.
You remember the incident, when two goons break Kerrigan’s kneecap, which midway through the film ex-husband Jeff Gillooly tells the audience, “This is what you came for, isn’t it?”
Harding is portrayed as both a victim and an aggressor and she surely is both. Janney, one of our famous comic actresses, plays one mean mother who mentally and physically abuses her daughter as she pushes her to become a famous skater. As can be expected, Tonya turns into an angry, aggressive young woman who wants revenge on her mother and, eventually, her abusive husband.
Is she a victim? Most definitely!
Tonya’s claim to fame was the triple axle, a move never done in competitive skating. In spite of her athletic ability, the judges hated her and scored her low.
“It’s not my fault,” Harding screams to whomever will listen, and certainly this foul-mouthed redneck was not entirely at fault for all the mistakes she made. She had a lot of help.
The movie, although recalling the many bad things that happen, is surprisingly funny in spots, especially when it comes to Gillooly trying to mastermind a scheme to upset Kerrigan.
Many of us remember the outcome, but stay tuned for the “where are they now” epilogue. You will even get a glimpse at the real Tonya Harding doing the triple axle. How they got to do all of the skating moves with Robbie is a tribute to the photographers and editors.
Rated R, with lots of profanity some sex and nudity, and violence.