TONYA HARDING’S STORY HEADS TO THE BIG SCREEN
Two triple axels, various ice skating records and all the technique in the world, means absolutely nothing when overshadowed by one of the most sensational scandals of all time. I, TONYA is based on the true events behind this spectacle and will keep you glued to your seat until the very end.
Former figure skating champion, Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie), was well on her way to becoming one of the world’s biggest ice skating legends. This competitive ice skater has been ambitious and goal-driven from an early age. Her first big breakthrough came in 1991, when she won (with her first triple axel) the U.S. Championships and was awarded the event’s first 6.0 ever given to a single female skater for technical merit. At the 1991 World Championships, she again completed the triple axel (becoming the first American woman to perform it at an international event), but finished second to Kristi Yamaguchi. Unfortunately that is not what she is remembered for. Her dreams and career were shattered by her alleged association with an infamous, ill-conceived, and even more poorly executed attack on fellow Olympic competitor, Nancy Kerrigan (Caitlin Carver), by her ex-husband (Sebastian Stan) and bodyguard (Paul Walter Hauser).
I, TONYA is a darkly comedic drama, written by Steven Rogers (Hope Floats, Stepmom), that tells the tale of a talented sports star whose success is destroyed by her troubled childhood, her mother’s abuse and her stormy relationships. This gripping film, directed by Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl, Fright Night), has not yet been released in South Africa but has already received various nominations from film festivals across the globe, including Best Feature Film and Best Actress at the Gotham Awards in November 2017, as well as Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Female and Best Editing (Tatiana S. Riegel) by the Independent Spirit Awards, taking place in March 2018. Allison Janney, who portrays the role of Tonya’s heartless and abusive mother – LaVona Golden – has also won an Award for Best Supporting Actress at the Hollywood Film Awards. This acclaimed stage actress, is known for her roles in The West Wing, American Beauty and Juno.
Furthermore, the film also boasts an excellent cast and has already received a lot of praise for outstanding performances by the lead characters. Margot Robbie, known for movies such as About Time, The Wolf of Wall Street, Focus, The Legend of Tarzan and Suicide Squad, is commended for her soulful portrayal of Tonya Harding in this fascinating story, while Sebastian Stan can be seen in the role of her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly. This handsome actor, from New York, previously featured in several television shows, such as Law and Order and Gossip Girl, and also starred in the Captain America Franchise, Riki and the Flash, The Martian and many more.
Although it initially seems like the movie is actually a comedic spoof of the heartlessness of a tabloid driven nation, you soon realise that it is about more than meets the eye.
I, TONYA promises to captivate audiences, not only because of outstanding acting and direction, but also because it proves the innocence of a woman who was judged by the world and abused by those who were supposed to love her most.
“This movie returns Tonya to being what she always was: a great skater, and a human being with a dream of downscale flash that wouldn’t quit until it was pried away from her by the world,” says Variety’s Owen Gleiberman.
The movie is distributed by Ster-Kinekor Entertainment and will be released in cinemas on 16 February 2018.