In January 1994, the world was shocked when figure skating became the most violent sport on the planet overnight. US Olympic hopeful Nancy Kerrigan was attacked with a steel pipe, a hit that was orchestrated by the ex-husband of her rival, Tonya Harding. It was a vicious and violent event that shocked the world, and in the new film I, Tonya, we’re seeing Harding’s side of the story. Kinda.
The new Red Band trailer for I, Tonya was released this week and while we want to note that the actual attack on Kerrigan was terrible and nothing to be laughed about, the new film takes a comically dark look at one of the most polarizing athletes in recent history. When it comes to the Harding family, there’s no holding back. Sh*t’s about to get real.
Margot Robbie stars as Harding, the figure skater who came from a lower middle-class background with a demanding mother, played by Allison Janney. Both actors are already being praised for their roles as the foul-mouthed figures at the centre of a bumbling attack, led by Harding’s ex Jeff Gilooly, played by Sebastian Stan. Award show buzz quickly began swirling after I, Tonya made its debut at TIFF, with Robbie and Janney poised to break a leg at this year’s Oscars. Bah dum dum.
So, what have we learned about the film in the new trailer that we didn’t already know? Lots.
One, it’s sooooo ’90s. Like, a time portal in the shape of a film. There are scrunchies, there’s frizzy hair, there are tight acid wash jeans, and there are feathered bangs. So. Many. Feathered. Bangs.
Two, we learned the film will break the fourth wall. In a scene showing Harding chasing her husband Gilooly around the house and firing a shotgun at him, Robbie looks at the camera and admits, “This never happened.”
Three, this isn’t the movie the figure skating association likely wants you to see. Sure, there’s toe picks, triple axels, skate guards, costumes, figures, salchows, lutzes, and camel spins, but that’s only the skating. There’s also smoking, violence, sex, middle fingers, overbearing parents, and words that we’re not allowed to use on this website.
Four, you’re probably going to want to watch a lot of figure skating after seeing I, Tonya. Take one of the most expensive sports in the world and factor in performing solo and needing to peak around age 17 and you better believe that Tonya Harding isn’t the only dark horse in the world of competitive figure skating.
I, Tonya hits theatres on December 8.