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The Eyes of Tammy Faye Movie Review

The Eyes of Tammy Faye Movie Review
"The Eyes of Tammy Faye" is about the rise of televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, but, as the title would suggest, the movie is most interested in Tammy Faye. How could it not be? She was a larger-than-life figure who became the target of snickers and scorn for her boisterous personality, squeaky voice, and the layers of make-up she wore each day. The movie presents Tammy Faye as she presented herself, but aims to bring a sympathetic view and dismantle perceptions of her. It succeeds in doing so thanks to Jessica Chastain's performance.

Some will look at Chastain's performance as an Oscar play, as she puts on all the wigs and make-up to bring Tammy Faye to the screen. The Oscars certainly love transformative performances and actors playing real life people, but Chastain takes Tammy Faye beyond caricature. As a producer on the film, she knows Bakker has already been portrayed that way in the height of her fame, but Chastain is much more interested in who she was as a person. It's clear in every moment of her performance.

As a young girl Tammy Faye always felt like an outcast, being kept in the shadow by her stern mother (Cherry Jones) who never wanted her to come to church, where she played the piano. Tammy Faye was drawn to God and the church at a young age, and she carried this commitment with her all her life. When Tammy Faye goes to college, she meets the charismatic Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield), who immediately attracts her. They flirt, talk about their faith, and quickly get married, much to the chagrin of Tammy Faye's always disapproving mother.

"The Eyes of Tammy Faye" shows Jim and Tammy Faye's rapid rise as they meet with people like Jerry Falwell (Vincent D'Onofrio) and Pat Robertson (Gabriel Olds), who Jim admires for their status in the evangelic community. Jim makes all the connections he needs to so he can turn their network, Praise the Lord (PTL), into a lucrative business. Suddenly Tammy Faye finds herself in mansions and minks, seemingly unaware of where it's all coming from.

Director Michael Showalter ("The Big Sick," "Hello, My Name is Doris," "The Lovebirds") feels like an interesting choice to helm this movie, having done mostly comedies. "The Eyes of Tammy Faye" is light on its feet while tackling heavy subject matter, but Showalter's rom-com rhythm doesn't translate to the life story about infamous televangelists. With a subject as interesting as the Bakkers, "The Eyes of Tammy Faye" could have been a more inventive spin on the biopic. It's redundant at this point to call biopics formulaic, and if the subject intrigues a viewer it's successful, but a lot of "The Eyes of Tammy Faye" feels like a checklist rather than a movie with ample room to breathe.

The screenplay by Abe Sylvia, based on the documentary of the same name by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, feels reluctant to let you get to know the Bakkers, instead zooming through their history to get to the point where they build an empire. Chastain's performance rejects such hesitancy at every turn, determined to give Tammy Faye a moment of clarity. The movie leans heavily in her favor, and while there could be an argument made regarding her culpability, the blame for the couple's downfall is rightfully placed at Jim's feet. Tammy Faye was dazzled by Jim's commitment to their ministry and got lost in it all; he simply let her stay lost. Chastain's eager performance gives her a chance to be found again.

The Eyes of Tammy Faye Movie Review By Matthew Passantino
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
The Eyes of Tammy Faye Movie Review The Eyes of Tammy Faye Movie Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Sunday, September 19, 2021 Rating: 5

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