Movie Columnist & Social Media Director
It was almost entirely a sure-bet going into Oscar night Allison Janney would come away with the Supporting Actress award for her brazen performance as LaVona Harding in “I, Tonya.” She had already made the rounds, culminating big wins at the BAFTAs, Golden Globes, Spirit Awards and SAG Awards.
Playing opposite Margot Robbie’s sympathetic portrayal of Tonya Harding, Janney was able to let loose with a stone-cold personality and a slew of vulgarities. Her ability to portray this antagonistic character with razor-sharp wit and a touch of humanity, all the while having a bird perched on her shoulder made her an unstoppable force for Oscar voters.
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Janney has had a strong career spanning nearly four decades. Some of her most-known work has been on television, playing the famous C.J. Cregg for seven years on “The West Wing” opposite two other Daytonians Martin Sheen and Rob Lowe. More recently she has been in “Juno” (2007), “The Help” (2011) and back on television with “Mom.” While she has been awarded through her work on the small screen, “I, Tonya” was her first time being recognized in a big way for film.
As Janney is originally from the Dayton area, local independent theater The NEON and its patrons were gearing up for excitement at its Annual Oscar Viewing Party. Each time the camera panned to her or mentioned her name, a round of proud applause would sweep the theater.
When it finally came time to announce the award, all 115 attendees waited with bated breath until Mahershala Ali, last year’s Best Supporting Actor winner, announced Allison Janney to an eruption of cheers.
The day after the ceremony, The NEON put on their marquee “Congrats Allison” to further celebrate her win.
Allison Janney responded by tweeting out: “Love you Dayton! Thank you so much for all the love and support! I’m so proud to call you home. #Ohio”
— Allison Janney (@AllisonBJanney) March 6, 2018
It is safe to say the feeling is mutual for Dayton, Ms. Janney. Congratulations on your deserved Oscar win.