‘I, Tonya:’ New film sheds light on ‘90s icon

You can catch “I, Tonya” at Asheville Fine Arts Theatre this weekend.

Like many girls who were born in the ‘80s and grew up in the ‘90s, I was obsessed with ice skating at an early age.

My room was plastered with ice skating posters. Book fair money was spent on books about Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan’s fierce competitiveness (be glad I couldn’t convince my dad to dig through my childhood books, which are currently in storage or else you would have gotten a photo of said books with this column), and evenings were spent watching the Winter Olympic tryouts on my parent’s 19-inch TV

I hate to admit it, especially after watching the biopic “I, Tonya” and loving it, but I was always more of a Nancy Kerrigan fan than a Tonya Harding fan.

Director Craig Gillespie does a great job of making the viewer feel sorry for Harding and her self-proclaimed “redneck” upbringing.

From an early age you see young Tonya take to figure skating, come up with ways to fit in with her fellow skaters—like kill rabbits to make her own fur coat—and deal with a lot of abuse from her mother, played by Allison Janney.

Even though Janney plays the “mommy dearest” of the film, you have to have a heart for her character because she’s such a wonderfully bad apple.

A pumped up soundtrack featuring “Devil Woman” by Cliff Richard kicks off the film and has you humming the tune three weeks after you’ve seen the movie. Plus Janney’s witty comebacks to white bread moms makes for a good snort laugh or two throughout the film.

If you were a Barbie Princess Ice Skating girl of the ‘80s and ‘90s, watching “I, Tonya” is an essential. You’ll remember how you felt when you saw ice skating for the first time. You’ll wonder why you fantasized of wearing a glittery leotard and dancing to classical music. Heck, you might just cry a little from all the nostalgia the film brings.

You can catch “I, Tonya” this weekend at the Asheville Fine Arts Theatre on Biltmore Avenue in downtown Asheville. I promise you won’t be disappointed by this flick.

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