Thanks to a great catch by Marshall Flores, it has come to our attention that if Margot Robbie is nominated for Best Actress and I, Tonya for Best Picture, she will become the first woman to have both a producing nomination and an acting nomination in the same year and for the same film. Only two other women have Oscar nominations for both acting and producing, Barbra Streisand and Oprah Winfrey, but they have them for different films. Robbie would be the first to have both of them for a single film.
The reason there are so few women who could make this stat is that films about women don’t get nominated much anymore for Best Picture, though this year might break that pattern. Also, women weren’t really regularly nominated for producing until the 1970s.
Margot Robbie surprised everyone by turning in one of the strongest performances of the year as Tonya Harding in the messed up, take no prisoners satirical look at a moment in our culture where we became swept up in a good girl vs. bad girl story. I, Tonya makes the point beautifully that Harding never really had a chance because she was always going to be the girl from the wrong side of the tracks.
There are many who are angry about how Nancy Kerrigan has been mostly forgotten in this story, or saying she’s the real victim and no one should sympathize with Harding. Having lived through the story, I remember how I did sympathize with her for all of the reasons the movie brings to light. There are very few films that touch on poverty in the race this year, like The Florida Project, Three Billboards, Mudbound, and of course, I, Tonya. Interesting that two films with powerhouse performances by women, I, Tonya and Molly’s Game, are about athletes whose dreams of Olympic gold were sidelined. I, Tonya is a dark comedy but it is also a tragedy because a wavering flame like hers was not easily snuffed out, whether it was by her own hand or not.
Margot Robbie got the film made and in so doing might be looking at making some kind of history at the Oscars come next Tuesday.