Biography Blu-ray Review

'I, Tonya' Blu-ray Review: Margot Robbie Lands a Triple-Axel Performance, in this Sharp-Edged Biopic

March 12, 2018Ben MK

Generally speaking, whenever Hollywood makes a sports movie, it tends to be of the underdog variety. And while those elements are certainly present in I, Tonya, the film is also so much more.

A darkly comedic, tragic, and, yes, even at times inspirational biopic of disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding, I, Tonya stars Margot Robbie in the lead role, and chronicles Harding's life from the age of 4, when she won her first skating competition, to her early 20s, when "the incident" with Nancy Kerrigan put Harding's skating career permanently on ice.

Telling the story through a series of flashbacks and interviews with Harding, her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan), her iron-fisted mother LaVona (Allison Janney), her former bodyguard Shawn (Paul Walter Hauser), her former coach Diane (Julianne Nicholson) and Hard Copy reporter Martin Maddox (Bobby Canavale), director Craig Gillespie and screenwriter Steven Rogers set out neither to vilify nor vindicate Harding, but rather, to humanize her. And thanks to Robbie's performance, their efforts are met with 5.9s across the board.

As Harding, Robbie brings a realness to the part. And while her portrayal occasionally veers a little too close for comfort to caricature, there's an undeniable realness to her tough-yet-vulnerable depiction that makes it difficult not to empathize with her character. Set in a time that also saw the birth of the 24-hour news cycle, the result not only makes for a fascinating portrait of one of sport's most infamous figures, but also an incisive commentary on the voracious nature of modern media.

I, Tonya skates its way onto Blu-ray with a terrifically film-like 1080p presentation that maintains the aesthetic of the movie's theatrical presentation. Image quality is nicely detailed, and the color palette is well-saturated and true to the time period of the story, while the disc's Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound mix is primarily dialogue-driven, but does come alive with such sounds as skate blades carving into the ice, the odd shotgun blast, and a rock-and-roll '80s soundtrack featuring artists like ZZ Top, Foreigner and Siouxsie and the Banshees.

VVS Films' single-disc Blu-ray release (also available as a Blu-ray & DVD combo pack) includes the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Deleted Scenes (17:24) - Five scenes.
  • Behind the Scenes (15:47) - A series of making-of featurettes ("All Sixes: The Perfect Performances of I, Tonya," "Irony-Free, Totally True: The Story Behind I, Tonya," "The Visual FX of I, Tonya," and "I, Tonya: Working with Director Craig Gillespie").
  • Feature Commentary - Director Craig Gillespie talks about the cinematography, the actors' performances, the music, the visual effects, the tone of the movie, the editing, the film's breaking of the fourth wall, and more.

I, Tonya is available from VVS Films as of March 13th, 2018. The Blu-ray features an English and French Dolby TrueHD 5.1 tracks and is presented with English and French subtitles. The total runtime is 2 hrs. 0 min.

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