Margot Robbie plays controversial figure skater Tonya Harding in the dazzling dark comedy, I, Tonya which lands in cinemas on the 23 February.
I, Tonya is the fascinating tale of Tonya Harding – the record-breaking American figure skater scorched by scandal when her arch-rival, Nancy Kerrigan, was attacked and forced to pull out of the 1994 Winter Olympics. Harding’s ex-husband and friend were identified as setting up the assault but Harding has always maintained she knew nothing about it. Regardless, the controversy left Harding an outcast from the sport she loved.
Rather than a straightforward biopic, this is a pitch-black comedy styled as a mock documentary, set 20 years after the event. We’re told from the start it’s based on “irony-free, wildly contradictory, totally true interviews”. But I, Tonya is a largely sympathetic look at Harding’s side of the story, detailing the abuse she suffered at the hands of both her mother and ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly. Unlike golden girl Kerrigan, the brash, working-class Harding just didn’t fit the image of the all-American sports star, making her an easy target for the media to demonise.
Playing the figure skater between the ages of 15 and 44 is Australian actress Margot Robbie. Prior to the shoot, the I, Tonya star spent three months learning to figure skate. It’s an incredibly physical role and she throws herself into it, managing to elicit empathy for Harding, even though it’s never asked for. It’s a genuine passion project for Robbie, who also co-produced the film, and recently won a Critics’ Choice award as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
Alison Janney shines just as bright as Harding’s icy, abusive, inappropriately hilarious mother, LaVona – critically acclaimed as some of the best work of her career, Janney won Best Supporting Actress at this year’s Golden Globe Awards.
Funny, offbeat and affecting, this is a fresh take on a woman who was reduced to the punchline of a joke.
Book tickets to see I, Tonya for free
Fancy catching I, Tonya before it hits UK cinemas on Friday 23 February?
Join Stylist Film Club for a free screening on Monday 12 February at 6pm for a 6.30pm start at Curzon Soho, or on Thursday 15 February at 6pm for a 6.30pm start at VUE Birmingham, VUE Edinburgh Omni, VUE Finchley Road and VUE Sheffield.
To get your free tickets to I, Tonya, visit seeitfirst.com and enter the code 7RPIW4.