With its gleefully salacious story, vulgar lead character and a host of unreliable narrators, “I, Tonya” is the type of media narrative that is typically reserved for Lifetime television, but instead here, it’s aimed at the Academy Awards. That disconnect would be easier to overlook were it not for the movie’s thin characterization of Tonya Harding, who is afforded little depth beyond self-pity and childish tantrums – it’s made particularly obvious given Margot Robbie’s superficial performance, focusing as it does on histrionics and vulgarity instead of an arc. The movie doesn’t quite know how to put the pieces of the multi-layered story together, but in the end, the finished product is easy to digest and has a snappy pace and effective use of music. Put together it’s a mixed bag, but it’s worth watching at least once to illuminate on a memorable moment in Olympics history.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)