The chance to review films for a publication is always a special treat. Cinema is my first love though and so getting to be a film critic if only sporadically is a way to live that dream. I was very lucky to review the new film Margot Robbie film I, Tonya for Scenestr magazine.

Margot Robbie was once a 17 year old playing a role in a small budgeted independent action film on the Gold Coast. There was an overweight 27 year old on that film set too working as a production runner. Based on Margot’s performance in that film I wouldn’t have thought Oscar buzz was in her future. A performance I saw a year later in a Gold Coast cinema with cast and crew. By then Margot was already down south working hard on the Australian soap Neighbours. It’s 10 years later and Margot Robbie is one of the hottest young talents in America, a first-rate actress, a woman with her own production company forming her own projects to ensure she’s not just the girl in the bikini or the hotpants. Her work in The Wolf of Wall Street, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and now I, Tonya is simply first rate. To go from where we were to where she is now is truly remarkable and I look forward to a long prolific career with many more great performances. I take my hat off to you Ms. Robbie and congratulations on becoming an Academy Award nominee. Most deserved.

On some level it’s very surreal for me to have known at one point a very big star for a brief period of time where they were not a big star. It’s also weird to then have my dream job of writing for publications be involved with a Margot Robbie film but also rewarding. I feel a small measure of success in the industry I love which is nice.

Karen and I went to a preview screening of I, Tonya at Chermside cinemas two days before it opened nationwide. My review was published the next day, there were things I was trying to get across about the strength of the performances, the depth of the storytelling and the pacing of the picture that I hope come through. It is one of those reviews where it feels like I’m getting there but not quite where I want it to be. Deadlines can be good for getting past your own doubts.

I hope you like the review which can be read here http://scenestr.com.au/movies-and-tv/i-tonya-review-20180124 and enjoy the film. Once again to all my readers thank you so much for your continued support and interest. The trailer below by the way in my humble opinion is one of the best film trailers of 2017. Maybe it’s the music.

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Celebrating 25 years in 2018 of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane every month. If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts including festivals, stand-up comics, fashion, theatre and film. I feel very fortunate to get to write for them.

-Lloyd Marken


  1. I enjoyed the review and the clip, Lloyd. I do remember the incident, though I never watch ice skating.As for making the film about the perpetrator rather than the victim, let’s face it, villains make better cinema. That’s why ‘Silence of The Lambs is mainly really about Hannibal Lechter. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Frank Capra and Jimmy Stewart would’ve gone the other way 🙂 I think what’s interesting about the film is it asks us to re-evaluate whether she’s a villain and gets us to admire her as a underdog. The problem is none of these things might be true. Still an interesting film with stellar performances. I agree she is the juicier story and thank you once again for checking out my reviews.

  2. Great review, it hooks me in right away and has a easy going flow. I like Margot Robbie taking on these different roles … talented for sure, will check this film out eventually. 🙂

    1. I think I saw in an interview where she was asked what culture is she trying to build with her production company. An aspect of her answer was to empower women and provide opportunities for them to progress in their careers and then it was mentioned the film has gotten 3 Oscar nominations for women who worked on it and I thought that’s fantastic! First film out of the gate and 3 female nominees. Brilliant!

  3. I enjoyed your review Lloyd, even though I am far from sharing your enthusiasm for this film. Truth be known, without Margot Robbie’s performance this film would barely scrape into third grade movie league. The story has little substance so the contrived mockumentary format is used to create a narrative scafold to hold our interest. The actual crime is a clumsy kneecapping from which the victim recovered quickly but in elite sport anything is worth pushing as a big story. I’m not sure why the movie was even made, but I enjoyed it….just enough to see the silly ending.

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, it is appreciated. I do agree there is a disconnect here, I’m moved by Robbie’s performance but part of that is because of the abuse Harding suffers which may not be entirely true. The drama is effective and then the film backtracks. It’s an interesting experiment but it does hold me out a remove as a result. On the other hand the performances are just terrific all round. We watched a documentary about a week ago which I feel was even better in relating the tale.

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