I, Tonya movie review: a performer’s delight with an emphasis on the journey rather than the destination
Movies are, by their very nature, destined to be viewed by a specific audience. For example, you wouldn’t send a room full of kindergarteners to watch Dunkirk. (That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t enjoy it anyway, but probably not the intention of the filmmaker.) The thing about a movie like I, Tonya is that the majority of the audience for this movie already knows the key plot points. They essentially know how the story is going to end and while that’s not the only reason you go to see a movie, it is a big part of the experience and the audience anticipates the satisfaction of a well-crafted tale. So how do you do that when the audience knows what happens to the protagonist at the end of the film? The answer is this movie.
There are lots of films about how characters grow and/or change during the course of the story and this is where I, Tonya really succeeds. This movie delivers multiple perspectives in a way we rarely see and does it more successfully then I could have possibly imagined. As this is the case, the emphasis of the movie is on HOW the characters end up where they are at the end of the movie rather than their specific circumstances. I, Tonya is a question of how and why rather than where and when.
Should you take this journey? I would have to say yes. Even general audiences who may not have a strong desire for nuanced character development and even if they know the story points can still find something to enjoy in this movie. I wouldn’t refer to these roles as showy opportunities for actors such as what is afforded to James Franco in The Disaster Artist, but all the performers here not only have a great deal to do but do their jobs well. I, Tonya is the rare opportunity for viewers to make an impression on a character and continuingly reevaluate that impression throughout the course of the film.
2017 was a good year for movies and I certainly didn’t see everything, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a movie better than I, Tonya. It’s got a compelling story but the character arcs and performances really power this movie home. The other quality technical elements (photography, editing, etc) have to take a backseat while the most visible members of a larger team take center stage. This movie gets my highest recommendation.
I often find that modern problems are still approached with black and white solutions. As adults, we know that life is often gray and there are seldom two definitive choices to pick from. Since I’m big on film and the Academy Awards has been slowly driving me insane for years, I’d like to proposed the idea of an Oscar for Best Collaborative Performance to solve one of the biggest areas overlooked by the academy.
Who would be eligible:
Voice actors, motion capture actors and the people that helped bring these characters to a fully realize state on screen
Why this is important:
An entire subset of the community is ignored when there is no recognition. A visual effects award is just not cutting it, particularly when they hide such things in a separate ceremony only for nerds.
How quick do we need this?
We need this yesterday, but we can settle for the 2018 Oscars and just give Andy Serkis and his team what they deserve. Obviously, Team Serkis isn’t the only performer and effects group that’s been overlooked, but it’s certainly the most egregious example to date.
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) was the 2015 winner for Best Picture at the Oscars and I’m sure few are surprised. The movie has excellent performances, directing, cinematography, lighting, screenplay, the editing is flawless, the score is amazing, sound design and mixing… It’s a really f@cking good movie. Here’s why. Read the rest of this entry
We finally got around to seeing American Hustle and it’s fair to say that the build up to watching the picture might have pulled some of the luster off the surface. Nevertheless, I certainly understand why everyone enjoyed it so much but I can also see what people mean when they say it’s two hours of people yelling at each other. Here are three points on American Hustle for both sides of the argument. Read the rest of this entry