Margot Robbie is outstanding as Tonya Harding, the disgraced figure skater, who in 1994 was at the center of an attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan, resulting in a broken knee sidelining Ms. Kerrigan from competition that year.
The film is biographical and is filled with comedic moments born out of the tragic backstory of Ms. Harding's life. We first meet Tonya as a three year old dragged to a skating rink by her overbearing and simply horrible mother, LaVona, played by Allison Janney. The relationships between Tonya and her mother, and later, with her eventual husband Jeff Gillooley, played by Sebastian Stan are at the core of the film. Tonya is painted as a tragic figure who constantly laments "it's not my fault". The film is told from different viewpoints in a documentary style and occasionally breaks the fourth wall when characters speak directly to the audience.
Tonya's horrific backstory is intercut with some terrific ice skating sequences, much of them done by Ms. Robbie herself (except for a CGI Triple Axel). And of course, the centerpiece of the film is the planning and execution of the attack on Ms. Kerrigan, much of it conceived by Shawn Eckhardt, Jeff's best friend and Tonya's self proclaimed "bodyguard". Mr. Eckhardt is played by Paul Walter Hauser, who bears a striking resemblance to the real Mr. Eckhardt, an outrageous character beyond description.
The film also features Julianne Nicholson as Diane Rawlinson, Tonya's coach and in a small role, Bobby Cannavale as an unnamed producer of " Hard Copy". The film finds much humor in this real life story but you laugh as a response to the ultimately sad tale that was Ms. Harding's life. An epilogue does explain that things are going better for her now.
This is a perfectly cast film. Ms. Robbie completely disappears into her role and is bound for multiple award nominations. Mr. Stan has never been better as the dim witted Jeff, and Ms. Janney, as the most monstrous mother ever portrayed on screen, is simply remarkable and a shoe-in for an Academy Award supporting actress nomination.