For the last two weeks, I’ve been clogging my free time with Netflix finds and crate digging. I made a goal for 2018 to watch one movie a day for 365 days, and so far, I haven’t failed.
A couple of caveats to the New Year’s resolution — if we want to call it that; it’s more of just a challenge and excuse to indulge in film — the movies have to be ones I have never seen before, and I must watch at least one a day. No watching seven in a row on a lazy Sunday and calling it good for the week.
I’ve been tracking my progress via a blog, which you can read at 365in365movies.blogspot.com if you desire. Sure, that’s a shameless plug, but there is no harm in you not reading. At the end of the day, this challenge is a selfish one.
But, maybe you find one or two of my reviews helpful as your Netflix searching builds frustration.
As I embark on this sometimes awesome, sometimes tiresome journey, I will certainly encounter a vast array of products — good, bad, happy, sad; comedies, dramas, documentaries and abstract shorts.
Some of these films will certainly relate to sport, so these are specific examples I’d like to share within this column space when those flicks come along. Last year, I nominated and you guys voted for various sports movies in specific categories — scenes, heroes, quotes and overall films. We all clearly love a good sports movie and are quick to toss out the bad ones.
With that, I will share some new ones that come across my screen.
The first in this realm was “I, Tonya.” This is the story of Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding, but it’s more than just a look at the infamous incident in which rival Nancy Kerrigan gets whacked in the knee with a baton.
“I, Tonya” dives much deeper into Harding’s life and everything that leads up to that incident, which Harding may or may not have had anything to do with. There’s abandonment, verbal abuse and physical abuse to go with sadness, sympathy and plenty of comedy.
Now, this movie was written and directed to be a comedy. It stars Margot Robbie, who has already claimed a Golden Globe nomination and will likely receive another when the Academy Award list comes out later this month.
Robbie is excellent, as is the script. I think the best part of this movie is the comedy makes much of it seem farfetched and fabricated, when in fact most of it is true. It becomes unbelievable that when you go back to understanding that it’s actually believable, your emotions shift.
This story is also told through the tales of Harding herself. This is most definitely her side of the story and paints her as less of a villain than the Kerrigan situation often does. Part of that comes from her backstory, which “I, Tonya” focuses on heavily.
It features oddball supporting characters, including her mother and abusive ex-husband, and it all leads to the Kerrigan whacking and subsequent punishment for the assailants, which includes Harding. This story is nothing new and in fact is almost played out at this point. ESPN even produced a 30 for 30 about it, seemingly ending the discussion and history lesson for good.
But “I, Tonya” brought it back, shined a new perspective on the situation and managed to do it in a comedic, entertaining, exaggerated-yet-truthful manner.
If you don’t know the Harding story, this provides a great look into her life. If you do, this movie is still funny. And the soundtrack rocks.
Robbie is great, the script is unique and “I, Tonya” is definitely a sports movie worth watching.