I Tonya

LetterboxD review link

I, Tonya’s directing style has been described as energetic in a few places, but I found it more frenetic than energetic. The director, and in extension the screenwriter, always felt like they wanted to assert their presence into the movie-watching experience, rather than allowing the film to unfold and for the audience to lean forward into it.

But that’s a forgivable feature of a film, if the story is compelling enough. And Tonya Harding’s story is compelling. It was lost on me, though, why her abuse was treated the way it was. Why were we meant to be in on some sort of joke about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her family and her husband? If we are supposed to feel some remorse about our own role as Americans in the abuse we subjected her to as a national punchline, is the point that we should feel some guilt at our laughs earlier in the movie? I don’t know if it worked out that way, over the course of this film.

I did find some of the themes about the sliperiness of truth or the difference between “your truth” and “the truth,” to be interesting and timely in our current political and social climate. And it is, undeniably, an entertaining film, with solid performances by the lead and supporting cast members, and an unrelenting forward momentum that is tough not to get swept up into.