Allison Janney puts her spin on ice-skating scandal in 'I, Tonya'

When Harding's place on the USA team is threatened by Nancy Kerrigan (Caitlin Carver), though, Jeff and his friend Shawn (Paul Walter Hauser) hire men to break her leg. At the same time, Harding is repeatedly abused through her life by her mother LaVona (Allison Janney) and then her on again/off again husband Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan). Once the story moves into the meat of the action, though - from Tonya moving in with Jeff to the insanity that follows - she paints a layered and unexpectedly sympathetic portrait as the most seemingly trustworthy of the film's alternating narrators.

While numerous nominations are the least that Robbie can expect, Allison Janney, as Tonya's charismatically offensive mother, is so rude, in your face, and huge that she is immediately the front-runner for the Best Supporting Actress gong.

Figure skating was Janney's childhood passion and although she doesn't perform any double axels in "I, Tonya", her role is expected to bring the former "West Wing" actress her first Oscar nomination next month.

Bizarrely enough, it's a tribute to tribute to American figure skater Tonya Harding.

The culprits, fellow US skater Tonya Harding's ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and bodyguard Shawn Eckhardt, were soon caught.

"She is sort of a monster on the page and I had to find her humanity, and what she wanted in life". "There were parts she didn't like, but I think. mostly, she was really excited about it".

Featuring the characters in direct-to-camera interviews, a strong undercurrent to the film is that Harding's downfall preceded several others of the tabloid-friendly 1990s, so much so that a "Hard Copy" reporter (played by Bobby Cannavale) is among the witnesses, wryly noting that the show was dismissed as trash by a media ecosystem that later mastered copying its sordid bag of tricks. "People would come up and be like, 'Oh, I remember that happening, I remember seeing her hit someone with a baseball bat.' ..."

Vanessa Coleman