New film early Os­cars favourite

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - News -

MAR­GOT Rob­bie is well and truly get­ting her Os­car skates on — and the chances of her pick­ing up the best ac­tress award are snow joke.

The first re­views of I, Tonya, a “black com­edy” telling the in­cred­i­ble and shock­ingly true story of Amer­i­can fig­ure skater Tonya Hard­ing — have seen it dubbed “one of the best movies of the Os­car sea­son”.

Hard­ing’s in­fa­mous story is one of the most scan­dalous in Amer­i­can sport. In 1994 the al­ready con­tro­ver­sial ath­lete was banned for life af­ter plead­ing guilty over her role in the kneecap at­tack on ri­val and fel­low US Olympics skater Nancy Ker­ri­gan.

Rob­bie stars in the “fre­netic” biopic along­side award­ing win­ning ac­tors Al­li­son Jan­ney and Bobby Can­navale.

Legendary film critic Peter Travers said the 27-year-old Aussie is amaz­ing.

“A never-bet­ter Rob­bie (holds) up a mir­ror to the tabloid Amer­ica most of us ig­nore or dis­miss — and makes us see our­selves re­flected in it, too. I, Tonya is funny as hell, but the pain is just as real. You’ll laugh till it hurts,” he wrote in Rolling Stone.

The AV Club said Rob­bie’s trans­for­ma­tion into Hard­ing is won­der­ful.

“From the open­ing min­utes ... it’s clear that Mar­got Rob­bie has dis­ap­peared into the role of dis­graced fig­ure skater and pop cul­ture punch­ing bag Tonya Hard­ing. Rob­bie’s take on Hard­ing — more of a spir­i­tual em­bod­i­ment than a man­ner­ism-ob­sessed im­pres­sion — never feels like any kind of anti-van­ity stunt.”

And Pa­rade Mag­a­zine said “Rob­bie spins, twirls and soars in this mag­nif­i­cently smudged, grandly sym­pa­thetic por­trait that digs deep into the dirty, dam­aged roots be­neath the tabloid head­lines”.

The Vil­lage Voice said the movie, which is re­leased in Aus­tralia in March, “of­fers thought­ful and some­what ob­jec­tive cri­tiques, plus much se­ri­ously dark hu­mour that’ll elicit a lot of un­com­fort­able gasps of laugh­ter — and in­vites you to pon­der dif­fi­cult truths”. While Forbes summed it up as “one of the best movies of the Os­car sea­son”.

Rob­bie and the real Hard­ing ac­tu­ally met on the red car­pet of the film’s New York pre­miere this week.

Rob­bie said Hard­ing was “in­cred­i­bly lovely”. “I thought I was go­ing to meet her to pla­cate her (about the por­trayal) but re­ally she was more wor­ried about me, how I was do­ing with the ice skat­ing, how I was do­ing with the fame at a young age,” she said.

(Clock­wise from main) Mar­got Rob­bie at the I, Tonya pre­miere, with Tonya Hard­ing, a poster for the movie, and star­ring as the in­fa­mous skater. Main pic­ture: Getty Im­ages

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