The Eyes Of Tammy Faye Movie Review (2021)



What is “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”? Michael Showalter adapts the documentary of the same call, the 2000 paintings that entertainingly reshaped the legacy of a girl regularly derided for her reliance on make-up and accused of bilking her unswerving supporters. But that movie exists. Why remake it as a showy dramedy? I’m no longer sure each person ever asked this query. It’s best favored as a overall performance piece from an actress going all-in, however the whole thing around that whirlwind of an acting flip feels underneath-considered. It’s as if someone decided “Jessica Chastain plays Tammy Faye” become all that absolutely everyone had to don't forget, and the rest of the movie could simply write and direct itself. It doesn’t. And that sense that there’s now not sufficient meat on the bones of this movie creatively starts to develop more potent and stronger with each passing scene, until it’s clear that nobody changed into genuinely willing to dig into what this real story says about faith, acceptance, and resilience. They had been too busy making use of makeup and gaudy costumes to trouble.

Chastain throws herself into Tammy Faye Bakker, the notorious wife of the king of televangelism, Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield). In a rather traditional biopic shape, Tammy Faye’s lifestyles unfolds from her childhood fascination with faith to her courtship with a younger Jim. The Tammy Faye of Showalter’s movie is outspoken and strident, daring to take a seat at a table with the men advising her husband on his growing career, tons to the disdain of a conservative like Jerry Falwell (a glowering Vincent D’Onofrio). Showalter and Chastain play Tammy Faye as a natural soul, a person who believed in all of her causes and become surrounded with the aid of inferior guys who consistently tried to dim her internal brightness.

Whether or not that’s actual isn’t sincerely an issue. I’m first-rate embracing the high quality aspect of Tammy Faye, mainly given her modern beliefs approximately reputation and homosexuality—Showalter recreates the famous interview with Steve Pieters that recognized the life of AIDS at a time when no person in Tammy Faye’s career was willing to achieve this, and it has undeniable emotional power. Chastain captures her as a continuously spinning firecracker, someone who humans like Jim and Jerry knew how to use to reach a financially-pushed fan base however couldn’t absolutely realize. She became pure. When Chastain says, “I simply need to like people,” she surely believes it.

However, the image rehabilitation for Tammy Faye Bakker simplest gets to this point dramatically, and could were higher served in a richer, greater ambitious film. Think of some thing like “I, Tonya,” a film that still rehabs a completely public discern but does so with wit and ardour that’s missing right here. Too a whole lot of “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” leans on makeup and costumes to inform its story, reducing collectively montages of “Prime Tammy Faye” like a highlight reel at a Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony. It all lacks extensive or dramatic reason, some thing that’s stronger by means of a really thin representation of Bakker. Garfield is a very talented actor, however writer Abe Sylvia by no means bothers to get beneath the pores and skin of Bakker. Was he a charlatan or a purist? He’s truely a vulnerable man, but he’s additionally sort of a blank slate here, the immediately man to Tammy Faye’s ardour, and he comes off as underwritten.

This is the Tammy Faye story, without question, and lovers of hers and Chastain will forgive the failings of a film about a female who wanted to transfer God’s love via her to the digicam. But maximum of these human beings know about Tammy Faye from the document and realize that Chastain can act circles round people whilst she’s given the right fabric. As a performance piece, “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” connects. But is that enough? Why must we hear this tale again? Tammy Faye Bakker longed for popularity—each receiving and giving it—and Showalter’s film provides some stable reminders of ways plenty we need to fee it. I simply wished the lesson got here in a film that felt like it truely stricken to understand her on a deeper stage or open the eyes of these who have been closed for so long in place of simply preaching to the choir.

This evaluate was filed from the Toronto International Film Festival. The film opens on September seventeenth.Brian Tallerico

Brian Tallerico is the Editor of, and also covers television, movie, Blu-ray, and video games. He is also a writer for Vulture, The Playlist, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone, and the President of the Chicago Film Critics Association.

The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021)

Rated PG-13for sexual content material and drug abuse.

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