By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Close

Movies Discussion - I, Tonya - View Post

Hey, has anyone else seen this movie? I FINALLY got around to watching it recently and had to recommend it. It's a dramatic (and humorous!) retelling of the life of controversial ice skating champion Tonya Harding, particularly focusing on the period of her ascendancy in the world of professional figure skating back in the late 1980s and early '90s leading up to the controversial, and heavily-covered, episode wherein she maybe-kinda-sorta had a hit man attack one of her rivals.

I distinctly remember the coverage of that development. The unusually intense coverage of Olympic figure skating, built around this particular drama, actually popularized the sport. It was extremely one-sided coverage too. It was cast as this epic rivalry between this pure, all-American girl from a middle class background (Nancy Kerrigan) up against this filthy, demon-possessed, low-class bitch (Tonya Harding) who had done this awful thing. It worked. Everyone...everyone except the working class communities where Harding had grown up, that is...was rooting for Nancy Kerrigan and against Tonya Harding.

I, Tonya is the story of Tonya Harding's background and history with the sport. The main thing you'll take away from this telling is that the entire system was rigged against her because of her class background and her inability to behave like a prim and proper lady because of her lifetime of being physically and psychologically abused, and that maybe this overarching reality of structural unfairness is what might have motivated the attack in the first place. It also shows a little bit of what subsequently became of her (up to the release of this movie anyway) after she was banned from professional figure skating for life, which is suitably depressing. It manages to humanize Harding in way that I think working class people deserve. Not in some romantic, dishonest way that suggests her to be perfect, or perfectly honest, but in a complex way that shows you why she was and is the way she was and is. I really liked it and just wanted to recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen it yet.