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Movie review: I, Tonya

Just came out of the theater. Overall... really really happy with this movie. The trailer had left me with high expectations, and the movie absolutely lived up to them.

The music was on point throughout. I just loved all the music choices they made to pump up the scenes and help provide that dark comedic atmosphere that this movie's clearly going for.

Ya know, as someone who was around for the real life drama at the time (I was around 9 or 10 year old), I knew that the dramatic scenes would be plentiful and well done, but I was skeptical about the skating scenes. I'm no figure skating aficionado or fan and just didn't know if they'd be anything interesting to watch as a moviegoer. And I've gotta take my hat off to them, they filmed the skating in creative ways that actually were visually interesting and kept my attention. Even with the triple axels, which I knew were done with CGI because they couldn't find any stunt skaters able to do them... I didn't notice the CGI a la Superman's upper lip. They looked fine to me.

Everybody did great jobs acting, especially Allison Janney as the mother. Though I will say that... at the end of the day, Margot Robbie is a beautiful woman, and they couldn't really hide that. Tonya Harding is a pretty... homely looking woman, so it was always a bit weird to see Robbie as her, because she's never going to be able to look as dumpy and white trash as Tonya was in real life. You're just not able to really see her as not being beautiful, because she is. Though she did do a great job with the accent.

I think the best part of the movie has to be near the end, when her mom comes to reconcile and says "I'm proud of you" and the whole thing just felt off to me. I'm sitting there going "Okay, this movie has done nothing to earn any of this and the mom's been a complete monster up to this point... why is this change happening now? This is going off the rails." And then you see what's in her pocket and why this is happening and it completely makes sense. I love it when a movie surprises you like that and subverts your expectations. That's what I'm looking for in movies.

At the end of the day, the whole movie is based off of these interviews with the various characters and it's not clear what you're meant to think about Tonya Harding. The movie doesn't make her out to be some glorified heroine. And it doesn't make her out to be the villain that the media's portrayed her as for so many years. It just presents the life of a very complicated, messy person and leaves you to make up your own mind about it. Just as all great movies do.

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