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Thread: I, Tonya (Craig Gillespie)

  1. #1
    Piss off, ghost! number8's Avatar
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    I, Tonya (Craig Gillespie)

    Quote Quoting Donald Glover
    I was actually just reading about Matt Damon and he’s like, ‘There’s a culture of outrage.’ I’m like, ‘Well, they have a reason to be outraged.’ I think it’s a lot of dudes just being scared. They’re like, ‘What if I did something and I didn’t realize it?’ I’m like, ‘Deal with it.’
    Movie Theater Diary

  2. #2
    Piss off, ghost! number8's Avatar
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    Her: I can't tell you how many boxes this ticked for me.
    Me: Did it make you feel the same way most 22-year-old guys felt after they watched Goodfellas for the first time?

    The marketing push making this out to be just that is not inaccurate--Gillespie does a facsimile of Scorsese's style here that would've been instantly recognizable even without the trailer prepping you to make that that connection--but that bears an interesting effect. A lot of this movie is just an energetic, pop-soundtracked retelling of the excellent 30 for 30 film, on purpose. Which makes it way more fun than the average biopic, but also makes it a somewhat derivative piece of work. The unreliable narrator approach also obscures the usual work of boiling a real person down to a character arc in a biopic, because we get these full-forced comic interpretations of the characters instead. I'm not sure if that makes it better or worse, because Margot Robbie is so good here in the few scenes that hint at the real tragic person behind the story. The best parts of the movie are scenes of her applying make-up throughout the movie. Some in preparation of a performance, some to hide bruises from her domestic abuse, and some being both at the same time, connecting the motif to Harding's claim that her history of being beaten up by both her mother and her husband prepared her for being the sports world's punching bag. That's killer stuff.

    The worst part of the movie are the skating scenes, which are thankfully minimal. The CG is just awful and distracting. I know they had to use it because it would just be impossible for Robbie to recreate Harding's moves, but I wish Gillespie figured out a different way to shoot them.
    Quote Quoting Donald Glover
    I was actually just reading about Matt Damon and he’s like, ‘There’s a culture of outrage.’ I’m like, ‘Well, they have a reason to be outraged.’ I think it’s a lot of dudes just being scared. They’re like, ‘What if I did something and I didn’t realize it?’ I’m like, ‘Deal with it.’
    Movie Theater Diary

  3. #3
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
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    I think the filmmakers really missed an opportunity by not calling this HARDING. Not many people have a last name that sounds like a verb of what their life is like.
    Last edited by Pop Trash; 12-19-2017 at 07:21 PM.
    Ratings on a 1-10 scale for your pleasure:

    Night of the Demons - 7
    Halloween H40 - 7
    First Man - 8
    A Star Is Born (2018) - 7
    Venom - 6
    Sixteen Candles - 7
    A Simple Favor - 7
    The Predator - 5
    The Godfather - 10
    Touch of Evil - 8

  4. #4
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    Surprised not too many have seen this. Although, I think Spinal has discussed on FB already.

    Anyhow, I don't like the Goodfellas-comment because there's just as much Wes Anderson and David O Russell here too. Plus, it's the performances that stand out here. Some aren't fans of Allison Janney, but every scene she's in is a standout to me, with the final confrontation being almost a little obvious, but still heartbreaking at the same time.

    The characters aren't complete mockeries (except for Shawn), but just enough where there's a good balance of comedy and drama. They can tilt at any second too. Sebastian Stan's performance is the right balance of that guy that you know is absolutely horrible for Tonya Harding, but you could never really convince her that she needs to stay away. Of course, Margot Robbie is especially good in making us empathize for someone that's been a rolling joke, and even a villain in the eyes of most of us.
    [
    ]

    A Star is Born - ***
    The Kindergarten Teacher - *** 1/2
    First Man - ***


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  5. #5
    The Pan Spinal's Avatar
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    This was my FB post:

    I, Tonya's grasp at compassion and understanding for its heroine feels disingenuous when her story is played in a broad, cartoonish tone. I can't help but think what someone like Patty Jenkins might have done with this story. Like I, Tonya, her film, Monster, was about a woman whose volatile personality was formed by poverty, poor education and abuse. And yet, Jenkins approached her subject with the utmost humanity and genuine empathy. I, Tonya tries to have it both ways, holding Harding up for mockery with broad caricature, and then scolding the audience for viewing her as a punchline. This isn't a film about someone from a low income, low education environment, so much as a film about Hollywood perception of a low income, low education environment and how it can be mined for laughs and cheap thrills. That, and Robbie never gets Harding right. She's far too tall and never captures Harding's meek speaking tone that contrasted with the violence associated with her.
    The Night of the Hunted (Rollin, 1980) **1/2
    The Demoniacs (Rollin, 1974) **
    First Man (Chazelle, 2018) ***
    A Star is Born (Cooper, 2018) ***
    A Simple Favor (Feig, 2018) **1/2
    Mandy (Cosmatos, 2018) **1/2
    The Three Musketeers (Niblo, 1921) **
    Chi-Raq (Lee, 2015) ***1/2
    The Headless Woman (Martel, 2008) ***
    Searching (Chaganty, 2018) **

  6. #6
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Spinal (view post)
    This was my FB post:

    I, Tonya's grasp at compassion and understanding for its heroine feels disingenuous when her story is played in a broad, cartoonish tone. I can't help but think what someone like Patty Jenkins might have done with this story. Like I, Tonya, her film, Monster, was about a woman whose volatile personality was formed by poverty, poor education and abuse. And yet, Jenkins approached her subject with the utmost humanity and genuine empathy. I, Tonya tries to have it both ways, holding Harding up for mockery with broad caricature, and then scolding the audience for viewing her as a punchline. This isn't a film about someone from a low income, low education environment, so much as a film about Hollywood perception of a low income, low education environment and how it can be mined for laughs and cheap thrills. That, and Robbie never gets Harding right. She's far too tall and never captures Harding's meek speaking tone that contrasted with the violence associated with her.
    I think Three Billboards is even more of Hollywood perception of low income/Midwest life.

    Otherwise, I don't remember Harding's actual tone, but agreed on the size. Although that didn't seem to be an issue once I saw the movie.

    A Star is Born - ***
    The Kindergarten Teacher - *** 1/2
    First Man - ***


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  7. #7
    Cinematographer Philip J. Fry's Avatar
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  8. #8
    The Pan Spinal's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Ezee E (view post)
    I think Three Billboards is even more of Hollywood perception of low income/Midwest life.
    Three Billboards works for me because the writing is funnier, more insightful, and more tonally consistent. It's also not based on a true story, so I am more willing to accept the characters as representative of competing ideas and social forces in contemporary life.
    The Night of the Hunted (Rollin, 1980) **1/2
    The Demoniacs (Rollin, 1974) **
    First Man (Chazelle, 2018) ***
    A Star is Born (Cooper, 2018) ***
    A Simple Favor (Feig, 2018) **1/2
    Mandy (Cosmatos, 2018) **1/2
    The Three Musketeers (Niblo, 1921) **
    Chi-Raq (Lee, 2015) ***1/2
    The Headless Woman (Martel, 2008) ***
    Searching (Chaganty, 2018) **

  9. #9
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    This should've won Best Actress and Best Picture at the Golden Globes.

  10. #10
    Kung Fu Hippie Watashi's Avatar
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    This was very bad. I saw this with a professional figure skater, and she kept turning to me during the ice skating scenes and said, "has the director even seen someone ice skate before?"
    Sure why not?

    STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (Rian Johnson) - 9
    STRONGER (David Gordon Green) - 6
    THE DISASTER ARTIST (James Franco) - 7
    THE FLORIDA PROJECT (Sean Baker) - 9
    LADY BIRD (Greta Gerwig) - 8


    "Hitchcock is really bad at suspense."
    - Stay Puft

  11. #11
    unattainable Zac Efron's Avatar
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    As a former skater, I'll save my comments on the figure skating details for another time...

    as a movie this wasn't very enjoyable and hit too many familiar, expected notes (especially the cringe-y song use). The use of Shawn Eckardt and LaVona was also seriously overdone for laughs. I did think that Sebastian Stan was pretty good as Jeff and it was really nice to see Julianne Nicholson in a solid role... but eh. After the Olympics I won't remember this movie exists until the next unfortunate time someone brings up brings up Harding.

  12. #12
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
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    Disposable biopic in the vein of what I imagine movies like Walk the Line and Ray are, albeit with a more puckish tone to it (albeit a fairly derivative Scorsese-ish tone that never goes for the jugular like Scorsese would). Worth watching for the performances. Sebastian Stan deserves more attention than he's received, while Robbie and Janney deserve about as much as they've gotten.

  13. #13
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    Margot Robbie and Julianne Nicholson wring some genuine emotions out of this breathless whirlpool of directorial tics and barraging needle-drops, but they seem to exist in a different film from everyone else. The other sensibility, lite-Scorsese as it may be, is mostly pretty entertaining, thanks to a lot of colorful performances. But there comes a point when this amps up the hyperness so much that it just reeks of tiring insecurity in engaging the audience, and the film, somehow against its own splashiness, pivots to a desperately obnoxious "you guys did this too" messaging at the audience in the end stretch. Robbie and Sebastian Stan remain a couple of revelations throughout though. 6.5/10
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  14. #14
    Yeah, this was entertaining on a superficial level. However, its reliance on a single perspective creates a missed opportunity for enlightenment. The film's finger-wagging isn't very persuasive when it asks us to rely almost entirely on its heroine's version of the events. I think there might be real, hard modern truths to mine from looking at every "version" of this event, but the film doesn't really go there, nor does it really commit itself to the "unreliable narrator" approach. It plays it both ways -- touching on the vulnerability of Harding's account for laughs ("I mean, what kind of frigging person bashes in their friend's knee? Who would do that ...to a friend?") while expecting the audience to accept her version as fact when it has a thematic ax to grind. The result is a film that, while entertaining in a broad "Adam McKay-like" sense, does not convincingly make any point at all. If there ever was an event that would've been perfect for the Rashomon treatment, it's this one.
    Last edited by DavidSeven; 02-16-2018 at 10:33 PM.
    letterboxd.

    A Star is Born (2018) **1/2
    Unforgiven (1992) ***1/2
    The Sisters Brothers (2018) **
    Crazy Rich Asians (2018) ***
    The Informant! (2009) ***1/2
    BlacKkKlansman (2018) ***1/2
    Sorry to Bother You (2018) **1/2
    Eighth Grade (2018) ***
    Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018) ***
    Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018) **1/2

  15. #15
    Body Double Rico's Avatar
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    I loved the film. I don't know what you guys wanted from it. Answers? Ha! The whole point is that all these people including the narrator are completely full of BS.

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