I was only 8 years old in 1994, so I only have vague recollections of the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan scandal. I do remember it being a BIG. DEAL. I also love ice skating in general, I'm a fan of Margot Robbie, and I will watch pretty much anything Allison Janney does so it's safe to say I was looking forward to this movie. It did not disappoint.
This biopic goes deep into Tonya Harding's life, starting when she was a girl and her overbearing and abusive mother put her into ice skating. She pushes Tonya hard, living vicariously through her, and never missing a chance to proclaim all the sacrifices she makes to help Tonya's dream (really her dream too) of ice skating fame come true. In early 1990 Tonya married Jeff Gillooly, who continued her mother's pattern of emotional and physical abuse. Despite the personal difficulties, Harding trained hard and achieved excellence in figure skating.
The movie does an excellent job of walking us through the story of her life leading up to "the incident", and then guiding the audience through the scandal as well. Overall Harding is painted as a sympathetic figure, I really felt for her when the judge banned her from figure skating for life. The way the story was told in this movie, I felt like she was as much a victim of what happened as Nancy Kerrigan, rather than a criminal mastermind. Now whether this is the full truth or not, well I supposed we will all have our own opinions, and the truth is probably somewhere in between.
No matter what the movie is worth seeing for a great story, excellent acting, and some fantastic figure skating sequences.
P.S. I did wonder at times if a true figure skater thought the figure skating in the movie was good or not. As someone with a dance background, sometimes when I watch dance movies (ahem, Save the Last Dance) I actually don't like it because it's obvious when a body double was used and it annoys me. I assume Margot Robie didn't become a world class figure skater for the movie, so body doubles were used. I didn't really notice it, but I wonder if a trained eye would have. If anyone reading this is a trained figure skater, I'd love to hear your opinion on the movie and the skating scenes in particular!