The Best and Worst of Margot Robbie
With beauty, brains, and talent, Margot Robbie is the full package. She was born in Australia and got her start in the Australian soap opera Neighbors. After landing a few small roles, she finally hit fame in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street. But is Margot's career as perfect as her teeth? In this article I will list her four best and four worst films and as always will include a complete rated filmography at the bottom.
Best #1: I, Tonya
In today's world, there's hardly anything that's not controversial. But in 1994, something happened that shook the figure skating world, something that's still talked about today. There's been many theories questioning the story, but regardless of what you believe happened, the truth is here in the fantastic and heartbreaking film I, Tonya.
The film follows the life of Tonya Harding from when she was a young child through the time after the 1994 Olympics. She was severely abused by both her mother and her on-and-off boyfriend/husband Jeff Gillooly. Despite her hindrances in life, she still aspired to be the best figure skater in the world. No matter how well she did or how hard she tried, she still faced obstacle after obstacle, the world seemingly against her when all she wanted was to feel loved.
Allison Janney and Margot Robbie both gave extraordinary performances. Allison made you really hate Levona, Tonya's verbally and physically abusive mother, while Margot made you feel sorry about Tonya. What she went through definitely was heartbreaking. It's something no one should ever have to go through but is sadly prevalent in many people's lives. In one scene, Tonya says: "Nancy gets hit once and the whole world shits, but getting hit was an everyday occurrence for me." Tonya often blamed herself or thought she deserved her abuse, which only made the ultimate outcome even more saddening. Margot and Allison did their jobs very well and certainly earned their Oscar nominations. Just a side note, Margot actually did all the skating stunts. She trained for 5 months in order to do this film and the effort she put in definitely showed.
Director Craig Gillespie has done drama before but never anything as in-depth as this was. He certainly reached a whole new level of skill and I hope to see him continue reaching higher. What is a true shame is that Gillespie was not nominated for the directing Oscar, which is a major snub.
In conclusion, I was impressed with the film. I, Tonya made me laugh, made me cry, and made me wish Tonya had been given a better life. She had such a great talent, but being raised in an abusive home and having an abusive husband set her on a path that was almost impossible to overcome. Would she have been the world's best figure skater had she been raised in a good household? Who knows. She may have become the world's greatest history teacher. Either way, she was always meant for greatness, it's just a shame that greatness was stolen from her. I give the film a perfect 4 out of 4.
Best #2: The Wolf of Wall Street
Based on a true story, the film follows Jordan Belfort as he becomes a wealthy stockbroker and how he became involved in crime and corruption, which eventually led to his downfall. Leonardo DiCaprio was brilliant as always. He always has this intensity about him that he's able to project onto the screen. Margot Robbie's acting was brilliant, especially considering this was her first major role. She dominated her role and had great chemistry with Leo. I sincerely hope they work together again in the future.
As for the film itself, it told a story that sadly a lot of people on Wall Street have succumbed to. They get rich quick, they get high-minded and feel like they're on top of the world, and pretty soon they get the idea that they're untouchable. They start dabbling in criminal activities and doing drugs and buying up everything they see. It's a regular trifecta that has brought many men to their knees, Jordan being one of them.
The film was brilliantly written and directed, which is something I've come to expect from Martin Scorsese and Leo DiCaprio. Those two are like Gold Medalists, everyone strives to be them but only a few even come close. I give the film a 4 out of 4.
Best #3: About Time
About Time is not only a romantic and comedic film, but it's true to the spirit and heart. It captures the things we think and/or do, and also what we often wish we could change, then goes one step further and gives us a meaning and understanding that most films don't give. It helps us appreciate our lives, whether we can change it or not, and helps to show that some mistakes are good things in the long run. Some mistakes can lead to even greater things. That's what Tim discovers in this film, and it's something we all should discover for ourselves.
In About Time, Tim is told on his 21st birthday that the men in his family have always had the unique ability to travel back in time within their own lives and relive certain moments or even fix the mistakes that most never could. Tim thinks he's found the love of his life in the lovely Charlotte, and tries his best to use his time travel gift to win her over. But some things are not meant to be because one day you may meet your Mary, a beautiful and intelligent woman with a sharp wit. The events that follow are both comedic and dramatic, just as life is. The film will make you smile and it will break your heart, but it will also leave a beautiful message with you that you'll carry for years to come. I give the film a 4 out of 4.
Best #4: Suicide Squad
The movie itself was a fantastic piece of filmmaking. I'm sure there are several of you out there that will disagree with me and that's okay. Friendly debate is a good thing. But first, here's my personal opinion.
There were several love stories intertwined with the main story. First, it had Rick Flagg and Dr. June Moon aka Enchantress. Then there was Deadshot and his daughter. Next, there was Diablo and his family. Last but not least, there was Harley and Joker. With all these love stories and the loss involved with each one, it's safe to say that there was plenty of emotion to go around. Several scenes were downright heartbreaking even.
The only issues I had with the characters was that Slipknot had literally NO role whatsoever, Captain Boomerang was pretty much useless and yet he was supposed to be among the worst of the worst, and there wasn't enough Killer Croc. More Croc, less Boomerang please!
The film establishes quickly that Amanda Waller has an idea to bring together a group of supervillains and force them to do jobs for the government. If they complete their missions, then they get time shaved off their prison sentences. If they fail or try to run, then they will be killed. How do you kill a supervillain? By implanting a miniature bomb in their necks that can be detonated by either of the remotes which are held by Amanda Waller and Rick Flagg.
Rick Flagg works for Amanda as the group leader. He watches them and makes sure they are following orders to the letter. Rick, unbeknownst to the group, is in love with Dr June Moon, who is possessed by the witch Enchantress. Waller is in control of the witch's heart so of course she thinks she can control Enchantress easily. The love story between Flagg and June is important but it isn't prominent.
Deadshot is a hitman who never misses that is paid first and snipes later. He has an ex-wife that is now dating a walking trash can and he also has a daughter. He would do anything for her and he wants to be back home with her desperately.
Diablo is has the power to control, create, and manipulate fire. He can be a human firebomb and he can create a light show. If he's angry, however, he can't be stopped until he calms back down. I won't give away what happens with Diablo, and I certainly won't give away his flashback which explains why he is the way he is in present time. Let's just say that it's the most heartbreaking of all.
Katana has a love story going on too, but it is only lightly touched on, most likely being saved for a future installment. I could give it away, since it isn't really important to the overall story, but I won't. It's much better if she stays a mystery because you find out when the team finds out, unless you already know Katana from the comics.
Harley and Joker has, perhaps, the main and most important love story of all. The relationship they have in the comics is perfectly paralleled on screen. There is one scene in particular that doesn't fit the Joker or Harley's personality. It feels like it would be something found in Boyz in the Hood or something like that. Considering that's the only problem with the couple, and the film, that's really nothing to complain about.
In the other DC films that feature the Joker, Joker's the villain. In this film, however, the villain is actually Enchantress. After finding and releasing her brother's spirit, Enchantress takes over Dr. Moon's body and joins her brother in the hopes of taking over and ruling humanity. They suck the souls from their victims, turning the remaining bodies into faceless warriors that are quite hard to kill.
I thought that Enchantress was underplayed. She wasn't very interesting, but that's only because there was only just enough information to help the plot move forward but not enough to make you like or dislike her. Dr. Moon, however, was emotionally invested with Flagg so that made the final confrontation difficult. He couldn't bear to think what he would have to do if Enchantress wouldn't leave Dr. Moon willingly.
The other villain of the story was actually Waller herself. She was the one in charge and she had some scenes that were completely unexpected. Even when Flagg sympathized with the group, Waller continued to see them as things she could control rather than people with lives that have been shattered because of the bad choices they have made.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this interpretation of the Joker. I had my reservations too. The pictures made him look like a meth head pimp but the final version that was put into the film was spectacular. I forgave the tattoos the second he used the one on his hand creepily. The laugh certainly wasn't Hamill or Ledger but it fit this version's personality well. Overall, I was impressed with him. He isn't my favorite Joker by any means, but he wasn't terrible.
This film deserves high praise. It makes zero sense why critics are bashing this film. The action sequences are spectacular, the CGI is impressive, the acting is mostly perfect (except for a few times where Margot's accent slips, bless her little heart), and the musical choices fit perfectly. I give this film a 3.5 out of 4.
And now we come to the dreaded section that absolutely no one likes to read. We want to read it, though, because we want to know what films are worth the time and what films aren't. So, let's trudge forward into the Worst section and hope we all make it out alive.
Worst #1: I.C.U.
This could have been the most spectacular horror film. Could have. Was it, though? No, not even close. I.C.U. was almost the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. It screeched by slowly and took your will to keep listening away. It "borrowed" from Rear Window heavily and instead of making a great homage film, they turned it into a horribly edited, horribly acted, and horribly directed film. On top of that, there were three or four plot twists in the last ten minutes. The only performance worth mentioning is Margot's. You could tell she was trying her best in a film that needed a lot of work and a lot more work after that. In fact, the only reason this film isn't getting a Death By Exile rating is because of Margot Robbie. I instead give the film a 0.5 out of 4.
Worst #2: Vigilante
Vigilante is a film that shows you the ugliness of crime and tries to make good points both for and against vigilantism. Where it ultimately fails is the acting. Absolutely no one is convincing. While it has a good story, it still needed some work. I liked the pros and cons that it gave and I liked the message it was trying to send. Since it has elements I both liked and disliked, I give the film a 2 out of 4.
Worst #3: Z for Zachariah
Z for Zachariah is set in a dystopian future and tells the story of a young woman who has been on her own for quite a while. A man in full radiation gear comes to her area and, upon discovering the air is clean, decides he wants to stay. She offers him food and shelter and pretty soon the two become close. All that is threatened though when another stranger wanders into town. The two men vie for her affection, each one hoping she'll choose him.
While the film has a good story, it falls short. There's no resolution and no reason given as to why the world is apparently contaminated with radiation and also no reason as to why this particular area is the only place with clean air. There's too much untold information. Maybe if the film had been about 20 minutes longer, we could have gotten the answers we needed. I give the film a 2 out of 4.
Worst #4: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is a film that can't quite decide what it is. Is it a comedy, a drama, a dramedy, a romcom? No one knows! The film follows a journalist who is sent to Afghanistan for some international journalism. She meets all kinds of people there, both good and bad. The film brings to light some interesting information and opens your eyes to how life is in Afghanistan. What the film doesn't do, however, is keep the story and its characters cohesive. Top marks for the actors, especially Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, and Martin Freeman. All three showed incredible range and talent. If only the film could pick which tone it wanted to be, then the film might have been even better. I give Whiskey Tango Foxtrot a 2.5 out of 4.
- Vigilante -> 2 out of 4
- I.C.U. -> 0.5 out of 4
- The Wolf of Wall Street -> 4 out of 4
- About Time -> 4 out of 4
- Suite Francaise -> 3 out of 4
- Z for Zachariah -> 2 out of 4
- Focus -> 3 out of 4
- Whiskey Tango Foxtrot -> 2.5 out of 4
- The Legend of Tarzan -> 3 out of 4
- Suicide Squad -> 3.5 out of 4
- I, Tonya -> 4 out of 4
- Goodbye Christopher Robin -> 3 out of 4
- Peter Rabbit -> 3 out of 4
What's Your Favorite Margot Robbie Film?
Margot's talent is is unquestionably fantastic and, in the right hands, she can do great things. But every actor and actress has their downs. While Margot certainly had hers, she has made far more good films than bad, and I find that encouraging for her future in the entertainment business.
Questions & Answers
© 2018 Alec Zander