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Non-Review Review: I, Tonya

I, Tonya is a biopic for the post-truth era. It is also brilliant.

The subject of I, Tonya will be casually familiar to most viewers, the figure skater Tonya Harding who was implicated in an attack on fellow figure skater Kerrigan. The incident was a flashpoint for the nascent twenty-four hour news cycle in the early nineties, although most people remember it as a warm-up for the O.J. Simpson case only shortly afterwards. As such, I, Tonya feels like the perfect window through which to examine the modern era’s obsessive celebrity-focused culture and the desire to turn our heroes into monsters for the audience’s viewing pleasure.

Putting her own spin on it.

I, Tonya is fascinating on that level alone. Its characters repeatedly break the fourth wall in an attempt to steer and control the narrative, but occasionally do so to indict the audience for their complicity. I, Tonya is a film that understands it cannot be about this media maelstrom without being part of this media maelstrom. There’s a canny knowingness to I, Tonya, an understanding that a movie about culture’s slipping grip on the idea of reality cannot be too earnest or too sincere.

I, Tonya repeatedly suggests that its story may stray into the realm of fantasy and fiction, but the movie still packs a real punch.

Get your skates on, mate.

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Non-Review Review: UHF

I like “Weird” Al Yankovic. I realise that there are many people out there who don’t find his pop song mash-ups like Another One Rides The Bus, Amish Paradise, Like Surgeon or White and Nerdy to be especially funny – and there are probably as many who find these riffs on popular tracks as insanely irritating. U.H.F. (perhaps better known as “the Weird Al Yankovic movie”) isn’t likely to change anybody’s opinion of the songwriter one way or the other. Which is to say that, while I could see quite a few flaws in it, it was smart and earnest enough that I ended up quite enjoyed it.

Gunning for the classics...

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