I, Tonya is a wildly inventive film that chronicles the life and career of figure skating champion Tonya Harding. The biopic begins with a superimposed message, telling us it is “based on irony-free, wildly contradictory, totally true interviews with Tonya Harding and Jeff Gillooly.” The resulting movie isn’t neatly divided into frame story interviews and flashbacks (like True Detective) nor is it a movie that simply presents a series of events from different perspectives (like Rashomon or The Thin Blue Line) – instead, the film demands a savvy audience that can follow along when characters pause mid-flashback to continue their interview narration. It’s a truly effective device that deftly demonstrates how difficult it can be to tell fact from fiction – but perhaps also gives us the most honest, true-to-life view of Tonya’s fierce, unbridled energy both inside and outside the rink.
This review originally appeared in the Austin School of Film’s recommendations blog, MIX/VHS. Check out the full post here, including a review of Mr. Bean!