Oscar Actors: Robbie, Margot–Star Is Born due to Vastly Entertaining Biopic I. Tonya

Margot Robbie has been around for a while, in lead and especially supporting roles.  She was beautiful, photogenic and good sports–but she was not a bankable actress, who was trusted to carry a whole movie on her sexy shoulders.

Nor has she become a bona fide movie star, possessing the power to green light movies and then lure audiences to see a movie just because she is in it.

All this is past and Robbie is now taken more seriously as a “real” dramatic actress due to her performance in the highly acclaimed, I, Tonya, a darkly humorous biopic that is striking a chord with audiences.

Robbie dominates every scenes she is in, playing a meaty role that allows her to show the entire gamut of emotions.

To be sure, she is not doing it alone–Allison James as her mother is terrific too, as expected of this remarkably versatile actress. (Query: when would the Actors Branch nominate her for a long overdue Best Supporting Actress)

I, Tonya has launched with an impressive $245,602 at four locations in one of the strongest platform openings of the year with $61,400 per site.

“I, Tonya” has become an Oscar contender due to Robbie’s portrayal of disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding and Allison Janney’s performance of her mother LaVona.

The film is currently playing at the Landmark and Arclight Hollywood in Los Angeles and at the Angelika and AMC Loews Lincoln Square in New York City. Co-distributors Neon and 30West plan to hold off on expansion until January.

The dark comedy centers on Harding’s involvement in the attack on rival figure skater Nancy Kerrigan — aimed at breaking Kerrigan’s leg so she couldn’t compete in the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.

Harding’s participation would eventually lead to her being stripped of her 1994 national title and banned for life from the figure skating world.