I, Tonya reviews

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Re: I, Tonya reviews

Postby Franz Ferdinand » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:15 pm

It feels like the movie's makeup and hair has flown under the radar, but it is certainly worthy of consideration for all the spot-on period work and the demystifying of Robbie.

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Re: I, Tonya reviews

Postby Bog » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:45 pm

Uri wrote: Casting Robbie in this role is the equivalent of casting Lena Dunham as Grace Kelly.


Uri...you made me laugh there at the end. Without sounding as ridiculously cliched as possible...you are as wrong as I was when the first frame began of her at her kitchen table documentary-style. Without having seen the trailer or read a word of review prior to viewing I said Holy Shit! they nailed it. The fact they did it in a sneaky 'you still know you're watching the even out of Jordan Belfort's league actress but more like how Harvey Levin would snap her at the automatic door of the 7-11 on a snowy Saturday morning at 7am when she popped in for (soy) milk. It even worked when she was "dolled" up for Nationals or the like...and I honestly don't even know how they did it...

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Re: I, Tonya reviews

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:01 pm

I wouldn't call Tonya Harding ugly looking. Short, chubby and graceless, OK, but not ugly, though some of the faces she made were, and her behavior certainly was.

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Re: I, Tonya reviews

Postby OscarGuy » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:25 am

You really should watch the film before attacking Robbie's casting. No, she doesn't go the full Charlize Theron/Montser route of chubbing up and uglifying, but nowhere in the film does Robbie's Harding look or feel attractive. Perhaps that's partly her upbringing, or perhaps it's because of her aggressive and harsh personality, but not once in this film did I get the impression that this was a pretty girl who could have won hearts with a more effervescent personality, though that certainly might have helped. I'm reminded of how Surya Bonaly looked almost exactly as Harding did and yet she was still treated far more fairly and had much better success than Harding did. It's not always about looks, but about talents and Harding was talented, but she also let her own headspace control and distort her potential for success.

It very much digs into the world of figure skating the way one might do digging into the world of beauty pageants as they aren't terribly far apart in terms of qualifying success by how pretty someone is.
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Re: I, Tonya reviews

Postby Uri » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:26 am

I haven’t seen it – it’s not going to open here for another 3 weeks, and when it does, I’m not sure I’ll be able to go out and see it. But I did see the trailer.

Tonya Harding wasn’t who she was and did what she did because she was born on the wrong side of the track or because she had a monstrous mother or because she fell with the wrong kind of people. Well, none of it helped and all the above most definitely contributed to her sorrow string of misfortunes, but the real factor was more basic. She was short, chubby, ugly and graceless, and in her chosen sport, where the shade of the lipstick a female athlete is wearing is more important than her ability to land triple jumps, she simply had no chance. Had she had Margot Robbie’s figure, posture and facial bone structure, bad wigs or no bad wigs, her life would have looked totally different. Casting Robbie in this role is the equivalent of casing Lena Dunham as Grace Kelly.

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Re: I, Tonya reviews

Postby Sabin » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:48 am

Watched 'I, Tonya' again because my girlfriend wanted to see it and she was very taken by it. Pretty much every woman I speak to these days loves it without hesitation. The men I speak to have reservations about its tone, its nastiness, and the tightrope it walks, almost as though they're slightly protective of Tonya Harding and the treatment of women in general. The women I speak to have no such qualms and view it as a film about survival. I think they're also thrilled to see a film about a female character who is so many things in one film. Yes, she has a victim complex, but she's not wrong that her fate isn't entirely up to her. Her husband unequivocally destroys her career, she's constantly judged on her appearances, and a judge takes her career from her in a moment that feels like she's being told she can't have children. But she's also a total piece of shit. Margot Robbie shines in this role. It's almost impossible to avoid comparisons to Sharon Stone. Both broke through baring it all with their blonde goddess bodies playing bad girls. But there was always something fussy about Stone, like she was brought in by central casting. In every performance Margot Robbie gives, she seems to wink to the camera as if to say "What you're seeing? I'm worse."

I suspect a few on this board will dislike this film, but I think it's just a little too entertaining to deny. The second half of the film is substantially less entertaining than the first, but the first has a fizz to it that may be derivative but works. I was initially a bit letdown by Allison Janney expecting a bigger role. There's a bit more shading to her performance on second viewing and she probably has enough to win the Oscar. 'I, Tonya' has only one great scene in it, it's near the end, and Janney owns it. Put it this way: if Melissa Leo can win for this performance, Allison Janney can because she's better.
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Re: I, Tonya reviews

Postby Sabin » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:02 pm

My favorite line from 'I, Tonya' is when Bobby Cannavale's Hard Copy producer says something along the lines of "Everyone used to shit on Hard Copy and now that's what all the news is." It's delivered in a very throwaway manner but it sticks because he's absolutely right. When I think the 1990's, I think the Geraldo Rivera, Hard Copy, and a revolving door of freak-shows trotted out before a live studio audience to be laughed at, applauded, booed...it's impossible to talk about Tonya Harding without thinking about that tabloid era. I think the biggest mistake that 'I, Tonya' makes is that it keeps impugns us, the spectator, as the co-hort. And it never quite pulls that off because it never really makes us understand what Tonya Harding meant to that tabloid television. For a movie that delights in jumping around here and there, you'd think it would be possible to explain how Tonya Harding was a watershed moment for them...then again, perhaps she isn't and the movie just wants it both ways. Either way, it comes off a bit too flip. Craig Gillespie is convinced that he's making a tabloid American tragedy, but in truth it's a little more of a sketchy lark that has shades of something more meaningful.

But 'I, Tonya' is a pretty good movie, even if it shameless apes 'Goodfellas.' But there's a sharply-written screenplay underneath. It's no mistake that when Tonya Harding ditches her abusive husband and begins valuing herself, she does well, and then the minute she welcomes him back, she loses his focus. Another writer would devote endless screen-time to showing this struggle rise and fall, but Steven Rogers just gives it a moment and shows it as a battle lost. Watching this back to back with 'Molly's Game' was an interesting study in writing female characters who don't value themselves enough. This is clearly the more fascinating subject because while, yes, she is the product of an emotionally abusive parent, let alone an abusive husband, she's always wildly self-absorbed with her own victimhood. Margot Robbie embraces it all. I don't think she's going to win for this, but she'll be nominated for sure. I'm not sure Allison Janney is going to win either. It's her strongest film role to date, for sure, and her final scene with Tonya is a heartbreaker. Her villainy just seems a little too broad and disconnected from the struggles of the film. Laurie Metcalf's role is more integrated to a film they probably liked more.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: I, Tonya reviews

Postby The Original BJ » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:36 pm

Sabin wrote:I'm really enjoying your early screening reviews, BJ.


Oh, thank you! I've tried not to be too spoiler-y, especially because I know some folks won't see these movies for another month or two, but I find it's a lot easier to get my thoughts down right after I've seen something. And the studios are out in full force screening this season's movies for the Academy & Guilds right now.

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Re: I, Tonya reviews

Postby Sabin » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:20 pm

I'm really enjoying your early screening reviews, BJ.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: I, Tonya reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:17 am

The Original BJ wrote:One tiny nitpicky thing: I'm sure the movie probably didn't have a huge budget for this kind of stuff, but there is some wonky CGI in the skating sequences -- in some shots it's painfully obvious that Robbie's face has been plastered onto a stunt double's body.


Well B.J. I wasn't looking forward to this one bit but your review has won me over.

I read about that particular problem with the film - sounds kind of funny, almost enduring in some ways. Can't wait to see for myself.
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

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Re: I, Tonya reviews

Postby The Original BJ » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:08 am

Given how much Nathaniel Rogers has been trashing this movie -- basically implying that anyone who doesn't think it's objectively awful can't possibly be trusted on anything -- I went into this wondering if it had been overhyped by festival audiences. But I'm more in line with the early reviews, and think that as a piece of entertainment, a lot of people will get a kick out of this. It's not at the level of To Die For, but its similar sense of nasty black comedy puts it at least within striking distance.

While it doesn't go as far as The Big Short in terms of finding inventively funny ways to tell its story, the movie still manages to pull out a lot of hyperactive stops -- on-camera interviews, split screens, direct-to-camera addresses, time jumbling, contradictory narratives -- to keep its plot buzzing along. The film definitely goes for outrageous laughs at times, but I also thought it grounded its story in human drama as well, with heartbreak and violence played for real pathos and pain even amidst the broad humor. This is a story about class in the United States, about a girl who believed in an American Dream that told her if she worked hard enough, she could rise above her station, but who was consistently kept down by a system that never gave her a fair shot. The movie doesn't absolve Tonya Harding of her own clear failings, but positions them within a culture that was happy to use her as a villain for long enough to get great ratings, then dispose of her and move on to the next big story. ("I thought being famous was going to be fun" might be the most poignant throwaway line in the movie.)

Oddly, the weakest section of the film is the depiction of the event that justifies its entire existence -- the Harding/Kerrigan scandal. For me, this was the portion that didn't quite balance the seriousness and humor as well as other sections -- some of it plays like a hijinxy version of a crime movie where Things Go Very Bad -- and I also think some of the character motivations are a little muddy here. But it had me thinking about how this event became such a huge news story for something kind of irrelevant. I'm old enough to remember how momentous a media story it was -- after the '92 election of Bill Clinton, it's the first bit of news I can recall following -- but I don't think you could argue it had any real meaningful cultural impact beyond its own inherent drama. (In contrast, the O.J. Simpson trial right around the corner, which this movie smartly incorporates in one scene as a contrasting parallel, had far more momentous implications both for individual lives, and race and gender issues in American society.) All of this is to say, I think it's to the filmmakers' credit that they are able to mine an event that feels like something out of a silly soap opera for material that highlights some decently compelling social issues.

But the movie's top area of achievement has to be the two actresses. This is clearly Margot Robbie's leap to the big leagues, and I can't imagine she'll be viewed as just a pretty bombshell any longer. She's got a totally meaty part, and shows a ton of range, nailing the comic moments effortlessly, and knocking a whole bunch of dramatic beats (putting on her makeup before the Olympics, her breakdown in the courtroom) out of the park. Allison Janney is less of a surprise -- we're accustomed to her enlivening plenty of movies and TV shows -- but I don't think she's ever had a film part this good, and she manages to make her character a thoroughly horrible monster mother while also letting moments of humanity sneak through. (I love the way she tries to fight cracking a smile when Tonya makes the Olympic team.)

One tiny nitpicky thing: I'm sure the movie probably didn't have a huge budget for this kind of stuff, but there is some wonky CGI in the skating sequences -- in some shots it's painfully obvious that Robbie's face has been plastered onto a stunt double's body.

Oh, and if Mister Tee hates the biopic trend of images of the real people popping up in the credits, I, Tonya goes one step further: it showcases film clips of everyone, so you can see how perfectly the actors are imitating these folks!

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Re: I, Tonya reviews

Postby flipp525 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:38 pm

Teaser trailer is out for I, Tonya. I think it looks great and I'm sticking with my Robbie prediction in Best Actress.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?ebc=ANyPxKo ... c_rVewKPtw
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Re: I, Tonya reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:12 pm

dws1982 wrote:Kind of surprising to see such a new distributor take this, especially with Netflix offering upwards of $10 million. Maybe missing out on a few high-profile films like this will get Netflix to rethink their distribution model.

I think you're right. If money were the only issue, they'd surely have snapped up the Netflix offer. But their thinking appears to have been, we don't want Allison Janney to be this year's Idris Elba -- and until Netfllix can prove they're able to do better with Oscar voters, other awards hopefuls might look elsewhere, as well.

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Re: I, Tonya reviews

Postby dws1982 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:54 pm

Kind of surprising to see such a new distributor take this, especially with Netflix offering upwards of $10 million. Maybe missing out on a few high-profile films like this will get Netflix to rethink their distribution model.

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Re: I, Tonya reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:23 pm

So, it's got a distributor (a little-known one, but experienced people), and will now be part of this year's race.

Best actress may be too crowded for Robbie to slip in, but Allison Janney seems certain to make a hot run for supporting actress.

http://deadline.com/2017/09/i-tonya-neo ... 202164919/


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