Gillespie doesn't pretend to be definitive.
Those expecting camp or catfights won't find them in Gillespie's movie, which instead offers thoughtful and somewhat objective critiques, plus much seriously dark humor that'll elicit a lot of uncomfortable gasps of laughter - and invites you to ponder hard truths.
To write the script, writer/producer Steven Rogers traveled up to OR, where Harding still resides, and captured interviews with her and ex-husband/possible co-conspirator Jeff Gillooly, as well as family members and associates. "Tonya Harding finished eighth". That, I should add, is no cheapening of the subject - it's how quite a few women in real life actually cope with their abuse.
Margot Robbie is earning raves for her performance as the champion athlete, whose promising career was famously cut short when her ex-husband, Jeff Gilloolly, and her bodyguard hatched a plot to try to eliminate her rival, Nancy Kerrigan, with a blow to her knee with a metal pipe. When Tonya pees herself, LaVona declares, "Skate wet!" Any kid who has been the great hope of their poor, uneducated family can identify with that pressure (and embarrassment). Largely because neither seem to be out of reach for her character. The in the nice world of figure skating, the working-class Harding was not always judged on her skills. Experiencing that event from the other side made me ashamed at being part of a vast, jeering audience.
The actors don't just re-enact the incidents described in the interviews the filmmakers conducted. And in this, we see the perpetuation of an nearly hereditary American bitterness take root and flower. This Tonya is raw but cautious - she's been burned by the press before. "I looked for little things like that ... because (the character) is such an evil woman". But the more I edited, and the more I meditated, and the more I considered the wholeness of the person of Tonya Harding, I began to feel a conviction to write something with dignity and grace, to pull back the ridiculous tabloid fodder and take stock of the real story of this unusual and magnificent America hero.
M's trade for Dee Gordon, get more funds for Ohtani
The real value of Gordon's speed, though, will be in making the transition to the outfield, and that's where things get tricky. Gordon, who has been an All-Star twice during his career, batted.308, scored 114 runs and stole 60 bases during 2017.
I didn't feel guilty for laughing, though. 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.
In a movie review for RogerEbert.com, Brian Tallerico applauded the director and writer for creating a "dark comedy approach" to the story of Tonya Harding that viewers only thought they knew. When she stubs out her cigarette and struts onto the ice, nailing every jump to a ZZ Top hit, I felt exhilarated.
The film takes these moments seriously, as it does ice-skating scenes for which Robbie trained for months (doubles were used for the tricks). In a performance that goes far beyond bad perms and tabloid punchlines, she's a powerhouse: a scrappy, defiant subversion of the American dream.
The Olympic silver medalist became the first woman to successfully land a triple axel in global competition at the 1988 NHK Trophy. "There's a reason no one was doing it".
That's not to claim that Harding and Clark are saints and that we need to sanitize our history. She's smiling, seemingly off in a different place.
Harding was also known for her risk-taking music choices. "From 1990 to 1995, you had, I think Waco, L.A., the riots in 1992, then you had the Menendez brothers - it was just hit after hit after hit of insane stuff!"