Allison Janey's Smoking in 'I, Tonya'
Has anyone smoked this viciously and vicariously on screen since Bette Davis in Now, Voyager? There's lots to love and admire in Craig Gillespie's look at the rise and fall of ice-skating "bad girl" Tonya Harding, from Margot Robbie's committed performance as the disgraced Olympian to the filmmaking chops on display (watch how the cameras keep circling Harding in her skating scenes, like it's a frenzied shark – everybody, even the movie itself, seems to be a predator out to get her). But it's Janey's sneering, vulgar matriarch that we keep going back to, a one-woman self-esteem wrecking crew with both a chirping bird and a big chip resting on her shoulder. The way she wields her ever-present cigarette like a weapon almost tips the film into camp – but it also serves as a great way of letting know who this character is and how she views the world. It's a genius bit of business, this.