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I, Tonya

I, Tonya

USA 2017 - with Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, Bobby Cannavale ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Original title:I, Tonya
Genre:Comedy, Drama
Direction:Craig Gillespie
Cinema release:22.03.2018
Production country:USA 2017
Running time:Approx. 120 min
Rated:Age 12+
Web page:www.facebook.com/ITonyaDE
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She was first the great Olympic hope for the USA: figure skater Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie), who managed to be the first American to put two triple axels on the ice. But you could always tell Harding came from very humble beginnings. Unlike her great competitor Nancy Kerrigan, a Disney princess come to life and Everybodys Darling. Kerrigan was a more fitting figurehead for the U.S. and thus would represent the country at the Olympics. But after an assassination attempt with an iron bar, the way was clear for Tonya Harding - until suspicions arose that she had something to do with the cowardly attack on her rival.

I, Tonya manages a bit of a feat: the film actually tells a very tragic story. It is a portrait of a young woman who was blessed with great talent, but was constantly pushed down by her domineering mother (rightfully Oscar-winning Allison Janney), an abusive husband (Sebastian Stan), and a public that was prejudiced in light of her social background. She has tried to escape the limits imposed on her, but that has not been forthcoming either. And suddenly she was embroiled in a scandal that made her the most hated woman in America. Perhaps she could have restored her reputation had it not been for the even bigger scandal involving Bill Clinton and his interns that suddenly brought all the attention to her. So Tonya Harding will probably always be remembered as the woman with the iron bar (even if she didn't smash it against Nancy Kerrigan's knee herself).

Not the stuff of feel-good cinema. But director Craig Gillespie resists the temptation to make this story a heavy drama. Rather, he tells it with sometimes very bitter humor, with the audience's laughter not infrequently stuck in the throat. Partly structured like a documentary in which the protagonists address the audience directly, the story becomes a cynical farce without the protagonists being ridiculed. On the contrary, Tonya Harding is a very tragic character who, precisely because of this humorous approach, is given far more facets than she has previously been afforded.

But the film is carried primarily by very strong actresses. Margot Robbie is simply magnificent in the title role. But just as in real life Harding was overshadowed by Nancy Kerrigan despite outstanding performances on the ice, here Margot Robbie has to cede a lot of attention to Allison Janney, who clearly delivers the film's most memorable performance as her gruff, bitter-tongued mother - and was promptly rewarded for it with just about every film award.

I, Tonya is a humorous drama, superbly acted, well-written and stirringly directed. Gillespie manages the difficult balancing act between bilious humor and believable seriousness, elevating the film well above the average of other film portrayals. If you like more sophisticated entertainment cinema from the USA, you should definitely not miss this work. Absolutely worth seeing!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp

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Cinema trailer for the movie "I, Tonya (USA 2017)"
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