Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Margot Robbie earns high marks in 'I, Tonya'

Margot Robbie earns high marks in 'I, Tonya'

"I don't know if I should even say "Hi" to her, I mean, I play Jeff!"

The movie portrays Harding's rough upbringing under a domineering mother in OR and then the attack that made her a notorious sports figure.

Figure skating was Janney's childhood passion and although she doesn't perform any double axels in "I, Tonya", her role is expected to bring the former "West Wing" actress her first Oscar nomination next month.

Review: There really isn't a boring moment in "I, Tonya". "I was quite graceful on the ice but I'm six feet (183 centimetres) tall and ultimately didn't think I was going to be able to do the jumps that were required to go to the Olympics", Janney, now 58, said.

Plot: Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) is a hugely talented figure skater that is rejected by the uppity U.S. Figure Skating team because of her working class origins.

The movie, however - directed by Craig Gillespie ("Lars and the Real Girl"), and drawn by screenwriter Steven Rogers in part from his interviews with Harding and Gillooly - goes well beyond "The Incident", as its principals call it, to focus on Harding's abusive, hardscrabble upbringing, segueing from life with her abusive mother LaVona (Janney) to her abusive boyfriend-then-husband Gillooly. When Harding's place on the USA team is threatened by Nancy Kerrigan (Caitlin Carver), though, Jeff and his friend Shawn (Paul Walter Hauser) hire men to break her leg. "And I think people come away with a lot more compassion for her". She sort of brushed it off in a way that made me think "Wow". As Harding, Robbie unleashes an extra dimension to her acting talents, fearlessly carrying the film while dancing between comedy and drama, and on at least two occasions she will leave you dazzled with the emotion she conveys. "She does care", said Janney. According to Janney, the film shows that the situation was "a lot more complicated" than it appeared in the media at the time.

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