“I Tonya” is based on the true story of figure skater Tonya Harding, who was the first American woman to land a triple axel in competition. That would’ve been enough to land her in the history books, but by itself probably would not have inspired a major motion picture. What the film primarily details is the infamous assault on her rival Nancy Kerrigan in 1994. It was the clubbing heard ’round the world, and now Harding is being portrayed by Margot Robbie (pictured above with the real Harding) in the new biopic, and her mother Lavona is brought to the screen by Allison Janney. Both ladies are contenders for Oscars, and they could potentially get an Olympic boost.
The Harding/Kerrigan incident was one of the most infamous in the history of the Winter Olympics. The games usually cannot go by without some mention of the event. NBC has often run packages on this incident at the Olympics ever since 1994, and Kerrigan served as a commentator during the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia. On top of that an ESPN documentary, “30 for 30: The Price of Gold,” was produced in 2014 on the 20th anniversary of the event.
Now this film has arrived, and it could be better timed. Because of the upcoming Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, in 2018, the Oscars moved to March 4 so as not to compete against the games for viewers. The Olympics run from February 9 until the closing ceremony on February 25, and it just so happens that final Oscar voting takes place from February 20 to February 27. With two weeks of the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat — including plenty of figure skating coverage — coinciding with academy voting, the film and its stars’ odds may increase. Its box office could also get a boost with moviegoers high on Olympic spirit.
Robbie currently is predicted to score a Best Actress Oscar nomination with odds of 11/1. Janney currently sits in second place for Best Supporting Actress with odds of 7/2 behind another television veteran, Laurie Metcalf (“Lady Bird”), so she could be the film’s best chance of taking home the gold and could definitely benefit from the endless shots of nervous parents watching their children live out their dreams — though as we see from the film Harding’s mother wasn’t nearly that nurturing.
The film itself could even be a contender for Best Picture following its Golden Globe nom for Best Film Comedy/Musical. It currently ranks among our top 14 contenders in the top race. A passionate group of followers ranking the film in first place could be all the film needs to crack the lineup.
Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives and top name stars can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.