I, Tonya movie review - Aussieboyreviews


If you’re not just here for the ‘incident’, this darkly hilarious and highly entertaining biopic is sure to impress. In fact, you may develop a new opinion on the figure skater after seeing this brilliant movie.


Competitive figure skater Tonya Harding begins to rise to fame as she struggles with her rough relationship with her mother. However, her career begins to lose balance when her abusive ex-husband intervenes with her life.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Craig Gillespie
Cast: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Julianne Nicholson, Bobby Cannavale, Allison Janney, Paul Walter Hauser, Caitlin Carver
Writer: Steven Rogers
Release Date (Australia): 25 January 2018 
Runtime: 119 minutes/1h 59m
Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama
Country: USA
Language: English


Themes (M)

The film features multiple scenes of domestic violence, as well as thematic content including death threats, blackmail and a set up attack on a figure skater.

Violence (M)

The film contains scenes of domestic violence in the form of punches, hits, beatings with objects and a mother throwing a knife at her daughter, as well as a scene of boxing violence. These scenes feature depictions of blood detail.

Coarse Language (MA15+)

The film includes infrequent use of the word “c**t”, in addition to frequent use of the word “f**k”.

Nudity (M)

The film includes two scenes that feature brief depictions of breasts nudity in a strip club.

Sex (MA15+)

The film contains a brief graphic sex scene with strong thrusting detail, in addition to moderate references to sex.

mpaa rating

R (for pervasive language, violence, and some sexual content/nudity)

Aussie boy's thoughts

While this unusual biopic will provide people who hate Tonya Harding with an understanding on how rough her life was, it’s also an incredibly brave film based on the figure skater for choosing to blend its heavy themes with several blocks of riotous, yet gritty humour. But you don’t have to go into the film knowing about the particular incident and the legal aftermath, and it’s not a necessity of even knowing about Harding’s career, rise or simply her name.

I, Tonya is extremely entertaining, utterly but wickedly hilarious, incredibly interesting and completely entrancing from beginning to end. It takes us on a moving journey through some of Harding’s rough childhood, her first marriage, the ‘incident’, the FBI investigation, as well as the complicated relationships with her abusive mother and boyfriend/husband. The film is beautifully directed and written masterfully, using sit-down interviews with the actors playing significant people in Tonya’s life, and clever scenes where the fourth wall is broken and the characters speak to the audience.

Margot Robbie who plays Tonya Harding and Allison Janney who plays her mother are both equally outstanding in the film, but especially when they share scenes. When you’re sitting and watching the arguments between these two characters and witnessing/hearing all the abuse, the two actresses play it off like they are mother and daughter in real life; as if they’ve known each other forever. The scenes depicting the relationships and domestic violence between the characters makes the film feel deeply personal at times, but it’s also got a sense of humour that you feel bad for laughing at. The fact that this biography chooses to fall under the category of ‘dark comedy’ is incredibly courageous and very refreshing.

If you were to take two people, one who loves Tonya Harding and one who hates Tonya Harding, sit them in a room and make both of them watch the movie with an open mind, they will both gain more understanding and sympathy for her. The film doesn’t make excuses for her actions or play the victim, but it’s always raw, compelling and poignant; definitely one of the best films the year has to offer, that will also leave you speechless.

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