By Megan Bianco
As we head into 2018, we also dive into the weakest month of the year in cinema. Rather than review a mediocre studio film dumped into January, I’m recommending a double feature of two low-key awards-contenders of this recent Oscar season: Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya and Aaron Sorkin’s Molly’s Game. Both got wider release dates over the New Year’s weekend, and both actually fit the tone for a back-to-back viewing.
I, Tonya is a satirical biopic on Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) and her rise to glory until she instantly became the center of attention when she’s involved with a fellow skater’s injury during the 1994 ceremonies. Allison Janney portrays Tonya’s abrasive mother and manager, LaVona, and Sebastian Stan plays Tonya’s equally aggressive then-husband, Jeff Gillooly.
Molly’s Game follows another Olympic figure, Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), who spent the first half of her life training as a skier, only to injure herself and move to LA in 2003. Quickly she runs the biggest poker game in Hollywood and Manhattan for eight years before getting busted with federal charges. Kevin Costner appears as Molly’s cold father and trainer, and Idris Elba is her reluctant attorney.
Both films are modern period pieces of sorts, and center on two incredible real-life episodes of two infamous young women. Admittedly, both films are imperfect; Tonya would have advanced with a stronger script and Molly’s could have used tighter editing. But the sarcastic atmospheres and strong performances might be a fresh way to start 2018.
Discussion about this post