I, Tonya is the film about a 1994 figure-skating scandal that America needs in 2017


Margot Robbie plays the embattled former Olympian in an unexpectedly resonant docu-comedy.

America has always been fascinated by the scandalous and sordid, and once the 24/7 cable news cycle became firmly entrenched in the mid-1990s, the country was ready to gorge itself.

We got what we asked for. In 1994, when former football star O.J. Simpson was pursued by police down a Los Angeles freeway in a white Ford Bronco, everyone in America tuned in, then stuck around for more than a year to watch his arrest, trial, and eventual acquittal in October 1995. The following year, a child beauty pageant queen named JonBenét Ramsey was found dead in her family’s house, enabling years of tabloid-style speculation about who really did it.

And then there was Tonya Harding, the Olympic figure skater whose connection to a 1994 attack on fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan ensured she’d become as much of a household name — and late-night comedy punchline — as O.J. or JonBenét, or Bill Clinton, for that matter. Just as O.J. somehow distilled America’s racial pathologies and JonBenét encapsulated anxieties about an increasingly sexualized culture, Tonya’s very existence confronted the country’s convenient fictions about being a place where everyone has a fair shot, where an even playing field is the rule.

And the more things change, the more they stay the same. O.J. and JonBenét have both been the subject of (excellent) reconsiderations by documentarians and filmmakers in the past year or so, O.J.: Made in America and Casting JonBenét. From the distance of a couple of decades, their stories seem impossibly prescient of 2017, when the 24/7 news cycle has migrated onto Twitter and Facebook and helped elect a former reality show star with a cable news obsession and a very bad track record on …read more

Source:: Vox – All

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