Me, Tonya makes Tonya Harding a nice character



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Unprepared spectators attended the premiere of the Toronto International Film Festival of Yo, Tonya waiting for a white trash pick Yo, Claudio, and came out wiping away our tears, thinking , "Tonya was aggrieved!" That is not exactly the movie (no account of a person is considered totally accurate) but Tonya by Margot Robbie has a lot more heart than the other characters that I forgave everything that had nothing to do with Nancy Kerrigan knee. With what could have had nothing to do with it. Or could not not have.

The structural trick of the film is that the actors play their characters 25 years after the infamous "incident", and each turns (bitterly) their own version of events. In some scenes, the characters even turn to the camera and say, "This is not what happened." Sometimes the device works, sometimes it feels cheap. Harding's story is convincing enough not to need those meta tricks.

What director Craig Gillespie and screenwriter Steven Rogers know for sure is that they have the mother of all the bad mother stories. The name of that mother is LaVona Golden and Allison Janney interprets it with a howl with what the author of the drama of Drama of the Gifted Child Alice Miller could describe as a perfect storm of narcissism. She is a wise wise woman. Janney purges the moisture from her voice, so it looks and sounds like the shell of a cicada you sometimes encounter in summer. His very soul is dissected. He pushes the teenage Tonya on the ice, angry at her losses and jealous for her victories. "You skate like a bull dam without grace," she says. She hits, too. She is violent enough to take Tonya into the arms of the first man and tell her she is pretty, Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan), who unfortunately hits harder and harder. No wonder Tonya skates without smiling.

But skating does it, challenging the judges who say it does not fit well with the sport: white trash, essentially. The real Tonya had a lot to overcome. He did not have the slender, long-limbed frame of Kerrigan or skaters of more "clbadic" proportions. She survived in the sand. Robbie is naturally more agile than Harding and has to overcome his own disadvantage: the thinness and buoyancy that nature gives him. But she and the doubles that were used captured all of Harding's driving athleticism. And Robbie evokes, magnificently, how trapped Tonya must be. His eyes seem to dilate more and more as the film progresses, making it seem more outside of itself. When, at the end of the film, you see how he applies his rouge too strongly, you see a woman who yearns to be pretty enough to transcend the ugliness that surrounds her.

Undoubtedly there is a lot of ugliness. The interiors of the 70s and 80s are striking in that way of fighting for sophistication, and the scenes are illuminated and composed to look like those frightful Polaroid that would develop (or develop halfway) before their eyes. Stan's Gillooly is the most insidious of the abusers: it looks reasonable up to the moment when the fist is connected, and then it is full of pleas and promises until the next time. The mixture of caricatured idiocy and realistic domestic abuse is one of the signatures of the film, and it does not work at all. Seeing Tonya with black eyes and bruised cheeks and a split lip for the second or third time makes it hard to laugh at the imbecile's antics.

I, Tonya took a particularly disjunctive turn when what everyone refers to as "the incident" is dramatized: Gillespie can not resist making the independent thugs appear even more stupid than they were, and the Tonya's non-involvement means that she briefly leaves the movie and leaves us alone with cretins, including Mama Shawn's virulent boy. Eckhardt (Paul Walter Hauser).

The climax of the Olympic Games is heartbreaking. Those of us who saw him live remember the sadistic pleasure of seeing Harding crumble on the ice, in part thanks to the poetic revenge of a torn cord. Experiencing that event from the other side embarrbaded me by being part of a large mocking audience. Maybe I'm too gullible, but now I choose to buy the idea that someone other than Tonya Harding planned one of the dumbest schemes in Olympic sports. If she really, given everything she knew about stress in the human body after tens of thousands of hours of drilling, sent people to mutilate a fellow competitor, then the film does not capture it.

One thing that is not talked about enough about biopics is a big, huge, big business in which the lives of their subjects are still alive, milestones that never reach the last breaks of the movies. The one from Yo, Tonya could read: "Tonya Harding's life underwent a momentous change when she agreed to be interviewed for a sympathetic biopic starring the Australian star Margot Robbie who portrayed her as the victim of a psychotically abusive mother and husband instead of a small, malign piece of white trash. "I've dreamed in clbadic Hollywood fashion the return of Harding when I, Tonya debuts: an O stopped at the premiere and screams" Tonya! Tonya! "On Oscar's red carpet. Anyone who has said that there are no second acts in the United States does not explain the extraordinary power of biopics.

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