“I, Tonya” could contend for Oscar wins in Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress

Of all the movies to debut at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, none helped raise their stock more than I, Tonya. Initially thought of as little more than a question mark in the awards race, enthusiastic reviews have shot it into the stratosphere. Now, it’s a true contender, along with being one of the year’s best films. This week, I, Tonya opens and hopes to establish distributor Neon as the next A24, striking gold almost immediately. Not only could this prove to be a crossover hit, it seems very likely to be a legitimate Oscar player. Especially in Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, the picture is looking for a gold medal. The film is a biopic of controversial figure skater Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie), who briefly capturing America’s attention in the 1990’s. Shot using occasional talking head interviews by the chief characters, we see Tonya rise up through the ranks of her sport, spurred on by her cruel mother LaVona Golden (Allison Janney) and abusive husband Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan). Of course, all she’s worked for is challenged by the status quo in the sport, who doesn’t like her “white trash” upbringing, especially when “class” is the key word everywhere else in figure skating. Then, there’s the notable incident spurred on by Gillooly and his friend Shawn Eckhardt (Paul Walter Hauser), one that will result in an injury to Tony’a main competition, Nancy Kerrigan (Caitlin Carver). That’s just one part of the story, as you’ll see. Craig Gillespie directs a script by Steven Rogers. The supporting cast includes Lynne Ashe, Bobby Cannavale, Jason Davis, McKenna Grace, Julianne Nicholson, Anthony Reynolds, Ricky Russert, and more. Nicolas Karakatsanis handles the cinematography, while the score is by Peter Nashel. Some top notch editing is on display too, courtesy of Tatiana S. Riegel. This is one of the best movies of the year. Some have labeled it “Goodfellas for the world of figure skating” and that’s a really apt comparison. It’s dark, funny, and even moving. The highlight though, is the one two punch of Janney and Robbie. The former delivers a scene stealing turn that’s the definition of a perfect supporting performance. If Best Supporting Actress doesn’t end up going to Laurie Metcalf for Lady Bird, it’ll go to Janney for this work. The latter, given a harder job, turns in her best showcase to date. Robbie is empathetic, tough as nails, and [...]

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