Starring Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan and Allison Janney, “I, Tonya,” tells the true story of American figure skater Tonya Harding and the scandal that led to her being banned from the sport.
Movies are always being made based on true events, but what exactly does this film get right about the 1994 attack on fellow figure skater Nancy Kerrigan and Harding’s involvement?
The skating, for one.
Aside from the scandal that that made Harding infamous, there was also the skating that made her famous. She was the first American woman to land a triple Axel and she was beaming with pride when she completed it, both in real life and on screen.
Within the realm of skating, there was also the truth in the movie of the fights Harding would have with the judges over her costumes. She didn’t have the money to buy expensive costumes, so she would make her own, which is something the judges weren’t happy with. The movie does a good job of depicting this, though Harding uses a lot of profanities in the film that she did not use in real life.
When it came time for the movie to show the attack on Kerrigan, orchestrated by Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, that left her with an injured knee, the film included a lot of true scenes. Kerrigan screamed out “Why? Why?” in the movie and in real life. Also true was the part where Kerrigan’s assailant, Shane Stant, crashed through a plexiglass door while running away after attacking her.
Another correctly-shown fact in the movie was that Harding had a lot of issues at home with her family. She’s said in reality that both her mother and Gillooly had physically and emotionally abused her, and this is shown in the movie, with her mother (played by Janney) even throwing a knife at her in one scene.
Speaking of her mom, LaVona Golden, she’s seen in the film with a bird on her shoulder often, and that is something that was always the case in real life, too.
Overall, the film was able to take a lot of the true events that occurred in 1994 and turn them into a well-woven story that includes both facts and stylized bits of fiction to help round out the production.
“I, Tonya” is now out in theaters.