There’s no point in continually re-posting my negative view of I, Tonya (A24, 12.8). I’m a minority dissenter and there’s nothing to be done about that. I would rather have my teeth drilled than sit through this film again.
Craig Gillespie‘s satirically over-the-top direction and Steven Rogers‘ bluntly-worded screenplay wore me down to a nub. The film depicts a demimonde of relentlessly crude and resentful lower-middle-class characters (all based on factual accounts) who seem to be competing for a stupidity trophy. Every line spoken by the enraged Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie), her bitter, cigarette-smoking mom (Allison Janey), her fiendish partner and ex-husband (Sebastian Stan) and a moronic, roly-poly bodyguard and friend of the family (Paul Walter Hauser) is a combination of impulsive, repulsive, ill-considered and forehead-slapping cluelessness.
Gillespie and Rogers want you to simultaneously despise and laugh at these losers, and you can certainly feel that attitude in this red-band trailer.
Most critics are big fans of I, Tonya. Agreed, Robbie and Janey will probably snag Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress Oscar noms, respectively. There’s no rooting factor or relatability in either character, of course — more like the opposite. I for one felt exhausted when I, Tonya ended. Harding’s rise and fall happened between the mid ’80s and mid ’90s, but you could process this film as a contemporary portrait of no-way-out Trump loyalists. A hipper title would be Craig’s Gillespie’s Trash.