My critical riffs about Craig Gillespie‘s I, Tonya (A24, 12.8) since catching it in Toronto have been a bit heated, so here’s an attempt to tone them down. I’ve said repeatedly that the film’s satirical brush is coarse and vulgar. Those two words are a fair description of the Harding family and their ne’er-do-well allies, but also the film’s supercilious mocking of these lost souls. As HE commenter Bobby Peru put it, “Aren’t we hilarious making fun of these local yokel shitheads?”

You could argue that I, Tonya’s satirical strategy is somewhat akin to an anti-pornography satire that buries the viewer in a torrent of X-rated footage. A closer analogy is The Wolf of Wall Street (’13), in which Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio broadly satirized ravenous Wall Street bottom feeders. The difference is that Wolf’s brand of outrageous black humor frequently connects, at times hilariously so. (The quaalude overdose sequence.). In my humble view I, Tonya (a) isn’t nearly as funny or even amusing, and (b) could conceivably give you cancer.

Am I voicing a minority opinion? Certainly. Satirically speaking, does I, Tonya have a kind of rough-hewn integrity? Yes — it sticks to the battle plan of looking down at these seething, cigarette-smoking, not-smart-enough losers. And it doesn’t attempt any manipulative emotional outreach strategies except by way of Margot Robbie’s anguished lead performance. Agreed, Robbie and Allison Janey will probably snag Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress Oscar noms, respectively, but what else is new?