It’s not easy to find a movie that will surprise you these days. With the proliferation of trailers and IMDB and commercials all over your Facebook feed, there aren’t many films that make it into theaters without months of conversation proceeding them.
So how to explain I, Tonya?
Take for example its director, Craig Gillespie. I never saw Lars and the Real Girl, though I heard it was well received. He later did a Fright Night remake and what, based on the trailers, was a glorified Lifetime movie, The Finest Hours. And that’s it.
Then there’s the screenwriter, Steven Rogers. He’s been the primary author of seminal movies like Hope Floats, Love the Coopers, and PS I Love You. Not the resume of someone you’d expect to be garnering Oscar talk. (He did write Kate and Leopold, so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised after all.)
Yet this movie was genius. Both the writing and the directing were original, entertaining, and insightful. Add to that the amazing performances, and out of seemingly nowhere comes what will likely be remembered as one of the best movies of 2017.
It’s nice to know it’s still possible to be surprised.