A Tonya Harding biopic comedy premiered last weekend at the Toronto Film Festival, and people are kind of freaking out about it, including USA Today, who called the film "officially the darling of Toronto."
Starring Margot Robbie as the infamous Olympic figure skater and Portlander, I, Tonya tells the story of the Nancy Kerrigan attack with the help of faux documentary-style interviews. It showed up to the TFF without the backing of a distributer, but emerged with a flurry of Coen Brother comparisons and proclamations that it's destined for Oscar nominations.
Directed by Craig Gillespie (The Finest Hours and Lars and The Real Girl), the movie is set 20 years after Harding's ex-husband bludgeoned Kerrigan's knee to prevent her from competing against Harding in the 1994 Winter Olympics.
I, Tonya is intended as a dark-comedy. Considering the movie's fake interviews and that it's about one of the biggest sport scandals in our cultural conscious, a skewering of tabloid culture seems inevitable. But much of the positive feedback is coming from people who left I, Tonya surprised by their newly found empathy for the disgraced athlete.
The film depicts Harding as a woman trapped in a cycle of abuse, and details her relationship with her emotionally abusive mother, her physically abusive first husband and her frustration with being pigeonholed by the media.
Along with buzz from Vulture and Vanity Fair, publications like Indie Wire, USA Today and Variety are crying Oscar contender and Coen Brothers comparisons. I, Tonya was just bought by the distribution company Neon earlier today, so there's not an exact date when the film will make its way to Portland, but it's due for a wide release by the end of the year.