One of the biggest surprises of the year was the news out of Toronto that I, Tonya, the Tonya Harding biopic, wasn’t just good; it was great. People were over the moon for the satiric comedic drama about one of the most controversial figures in pop culture. The film went from a small indie film without distribution to one of the hottest awards contenders of the year. And now, we have a trailer that gives us an indication of how this film will fare with the general public.
Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) was one of the most popular figure skaters around in the early nineties. She was a true winner, rising up from a troubled, abusive past with her terrible mother LaVona (Allison Janney) and surviving an abusive marriage to Jeff Gilooly (Sebastian Stan) to accomplish such feats as landing the triple axel – the first American woman to do so, and the second ever. However, as she became further isolated by an elitist figure skating committee and loathed by the press, she’s pushed further and further down a rabbit hole that would lead to the infamous 1994 maiming of her rival, Nancy Kerrigan (Caitlin Carver).
I’m quite familiar with the Harding story, both thanks to pop culture and the fact that the incident took place in my birth year, so I was already on board with this project from day one. The casting of Robbie and a supposedly awards-leading Janney further won me over. And when this film started racking up awards, including the Runner-Up Award at TIFF and two nominations at today’s Gotham Awards (Best Feature and Best Actress for Robbie), I realized it was one of the must-sees of the year. You can watch the trailer below, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be there opening night December 8th to see the year’s smash hit.