The Eyes of Tammy Faye is based upon a documentary by the same name, involving Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker. The Bakkers were a team of televangelists who preached that greed was good, and Jim was eventually prosecuted and thrown in jail for fraud.
First, let me get this out of the way, I am not a Jessica Chastain fan, and never will be. I do not understand how and why she’s ever been cast in anything. I wanted to see this movie only for two reasons, Andrew Garfield and for the Bakker story. I always love a good fraud story.
The movie is mostly focused on Tammy Faye (Jessica Chastain), rather than Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield). It starts when Tammy Faye is a child and is ‘saved’, she starts speaking in tongues when she’s baptized or whatever they do in churches like that. She meets Jim in bible college, and they decide to marry, leave school, and start preaching. Even from the beginning, you know something’s off about Jim, and if you’ve ever seen anything about the Bakkers, you know that he seems to be living a lie the entire time.
The film portrays Tammy Faye as a sympathetic character. I read an article the other day that Tammy Faye’s children are in full support of the film, which is always reassuring. Though, as with anything you see on the Bakkers, did Tammy Faye not know about her husband messing around with guys? Or the financial fraud? Or was she really that clueless?
Now, I mentioned my overall disdain for Chastain earlier. I felt that she was ok in this, her prosthetics made her look borderline grotesque, but the drag queen makeup was indeed spot on. She did get the obnoxious Minnesotan accent right. That accent is generally unpleasant, then coupled with the weird, Betty Boop/titmouse voice was so annoying but accurate for Tammy Faye. Garfield also did well with mimicking Jim Bakker’s voice and mannerisms.
Apparently, if you’ve never seen anything like televangelism, or anything to go with the Christian evangelical movement, their actions are overall hilarious. I can’t figure out if the movie wanted to come off as mocking the behaviour or not. It kind of made me feel icky when people were laughing at it. No doubt, it’s very weird, but it was teetering on the edge of being disrespectful.
This wasn’t a bad watch, it was just a little too long, it didn’t need to be over two hours. It was something different, and the story itself is interesting. I still couldn’t forget that it was Chastain under all that makeup, and so that was in the back of my mind, which did impact my enjoyment and rating. They seriously couldn’t have hired anyone else?
A UK release date for The Eyes of Tammy Faye is yet to be confirmed.
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I’m a Data Analyst, from the land of Matthew McConaughey. I’m an avid movie-goer and love seeing films in theaters. My most recent favorite films are Good Time, Only Lovers Left Alive, TENET, and England is Mine. When I’m not at the movies, I’m either reading or watching obscene amount of true crime and historical documentaries.