Based on the eventful career of figure skater Tonya Harding, Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya is a wryly comedic take on Harding’s heartbreaking downfall. Margot Robbie is almost unrecognizable as the athlete who, in 1991, becomes the first American woman to land a triple axel in competition. The film chronicles her complicated relationship with her mother, portrayed by Allison Janney in an Oscar-winning performance, as well as her marriage to Jeff Gillooly. Harding also faces backlash from the public and the skating community for her rough-around-the-edges persona.
When Harding is implicated in the Nancy Kerrigan scandal in 1994, she is forced to withdraw from the National Championships. With nobody to offer her the support she needs, Harding’s identity becomes inextricable from the highly publicized incident. In contrast to the dark and gritty content of the story, the film’s cinematography is vibrant and nostalgic, transporting viewers to the 90s.