Mar 032018
 

I have no idea how true I, Tonya really was given the contrasting accounts from the two primary sources, in conjunction with any inserts Hollywood generally includes in these “Based on True Story” movies, but taken for what it is, it’s a well made movie succeeding thanks to the performances by both Robbie and Janney.

 

 

I, Tonya
(2017)

Genre(s): Drama, Comedy, Crime
Universal | R – 120 min. – $22.99 | March 13, 2018

Date Published: 03/03/2018 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Craig Gillespie
Writer(s): Steven Rogers (written by)
Cast: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, Julianne Nicholson, Bobby Cannavale
DISC INFO:
Features: Commentary, Featurette, Deleted Scenes, Trailers
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 38.9 GB
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

 


THE MOVIE — 3.5/5


Although the Tanya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan tabloid fiasco was an international event, I recall it being covered almost non-stop here in Oregon, since Harding was from Portland. So even at the age of 13, it was hard to not hear or read about it. Now with this black comedy I, Tonya, the whole scandal comes back into the forefront with various TV specials and, of course, Tonya Harding herself no doubt enjoying being back in the limelight.

The movie opens stating this is “Based on irony free, wildly contradictory, totally true interviews with Tonya Harding and Jeff Gillooly” and from what I read, Harding and Gillooly could not agree on anything when interviews separately by screenwriter Steven Rogers, even their first date was inconsistent… So with that, I do take the events presented here, outside what was verified on video, with a huge grain of salt.

Tanya Harding (MARGOT ROBBIE) is a talented ice skater that began at the age of 3 and we follow her career, primarily beginning in her late teens when she meets her first boyfriend, later turned husband, Jeff Gillooly (SEBASTIAN STAN) and, at a young age, the trauma of her father leaving her and her mother (ALLISON JANNEY) to fend for themselves.

Problem for Harding is, being from the wrong side of the tracks as it were and not having a whole lot of money, her brass persona turned off those within the skating community, regardless of her talented. Of course, her personal life ain’t pretty either. Her (on again, off again) marriage to Jeff was plagued with abuse and an aggressive mother pushing her hard, showing absolutely no affection whatsoever. I don’t know if this how she was in real life, but irredeemable character and insight into Tonya’s psyche.

Although Tonya Harding’s notoriety was about the attack (i.e. knee-capping) of rival — while according to this movie, they were once friends — on Nancy Kerrigan takes a back seat, both the planning and the attack itself, to examining Tonya Harding and her chaotic life and considering one has no idea who to believe as all those involved are of, to say the least, of questionable character.

As a black comedy, I, Tonya does work rather well. Margot Robbie is tremendous as Harding and Sebastian Stan playing Gillooly does well playing a clueless rube and there are some darkly funny moments. But the standout, clearly, was Allison Janney was the wickedly portrayed mother, and you can see why she received a Best Supporting Actress nomination. Just the “interview” footage with a parakeet on her shoulder was enough to see all you need.

Now, if you’re looking for answers as to whether Harding herself new of the attack, you’ll be left with the impression, at least I did, that she did not (the initial plan was only to mail a threatening letter). Personally speaking, and this is outside of my critique of the film, if the planning/attack were conducted even halfway as haphazardly as it was portrayed, it is entirely believable she was oblivious in the matter.

Besides the performances, and some of the oddities on how the Kerrigan attack was conducted, there’s not much else I, Tonya really stands out. The direction from Craig Gillespie is decent with some interesting aspects like one-shot takes or crane shots while Harding was skating, particularly the pivotal triple axel scene, and her one claim to honest fame.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.0/5


This release comes with an embossed and semi-reflective slip cover. Inside contains the Digital HD redemption code.

Audio Commentary – Director Craig Gillespie sits down for a low key track chatting about what attracted him to the project, Margot Robbie’s performance and just the story as a whole.

Deleted Scenes (17:25; HD) – There were five scenes that were cut down or removed from the film completely, in all likelihood for pacing issues.

Behind the Scenes (15:53; HD) is split up into multiple parts, looking at the casting, story, direction and visual effects:

  • All Sixes: The Perfect Performances of I, Tonya
  • Irony Free, Totally True: The Story Behind I, Tonya
  • Working with Director Craig Gillespie
  • The Visual Effects of I, Tonya
  • VFX: Anatomy of the Triple Axel

Last up are some Trailers (5:42; HD) including the Teaser and Green Band and Red Band Trailers.

PreviewsIngrid Goes West, Beach Rats

 


VIDEO – 4.5/5


I, Tonya skates onto Blu-ray presented with a 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec). Although it is a pretty dark comedy, the lighting is rather bright and showcases some excellent color arrays such as some of Harding’s outfits (both inside and outside the rink) and skin tones to look natural while detail was sharp and well defined throughout.

AUDIO – 4.0/5


The included DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is fairly strong, albeit nothing extraordinary. Dialogue does prevail through the center channel with good clarity, and things like skates on the rink or the roars (or heckles) from the crowds do help give it a bit of depth, alongside a fun 1980s-era soundtrack.

 


OVERALL – 3.75/5


Overall, I have no idea how true I, Tonya really was given the contrasting accounts from the two primary sources, in conjunction with any inserts Hollywood generally includes in these “Based on True Story” movies, but taken for what it is, it’s a well made movie succeeding thanks to the performances by both Margot Robbie and, especially, Allison Janney. The Blu-ray release has great video and audio transfers and an okay selection of bonus features.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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