An intimate look at the extraordinary rise, fall, and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker.
THE GOOD STUFF
-JESSICA CHASTAIN- I guess when you come to think of it, Jessica Chastain hasn’t been around for very long. Her first film was in 2008. And in the 17 years since, she’s managed to win a Golden globe and get nominated for two Oscars. I mention all of this, because in the year of 2021 I can say without question that the greatest performance that she’s ever given is in THIS film. I say that absolutely not knowing if she actually sang the renditions of the gospel songs that Tammy Faye Baker used to sing.
If she did, then not only is this her best performance… it’s the best leading performance by ANY actress this year by light years, and they should all but engrave her name on that Oscar statue come the springtime. (Hell, she should probably get the trophy anyway even if she did not sing at all)
-ANDREW GARFIELD- Andrew Garfield’s an actor that I hated for a very long time. I’ve said a lot of harsh things about that man because of those godforsaken SPIDERMAN flicks he was in. However, I do have to admit, there is something to be said about his career post HACKSAW RIDGE. Since his Oscar nomination in that film, he has done staggeringly good performances in the past couple of years. (SILENCE, UNDER THE SILVERLAKE, BREATHE)
This here is no exception. The second act of this movie solidifies his performance as one of the very best he’s ever done, and one of the better supporting turns of the year so far. Much better actors have gotten nominations for much shittier performances than this one.
THE BAD STUFF
-THE STORY- Though Tammy Faye Bakker is the main character of this film and though the title does bear her name, The vast majority of it is the story of the Bakkers shenanigans involving everything that happened with the PTL club. Characters are introduced that very little screen time in the film but were VERY integral to how that whole scenario panned out in reality. Although telling the PTL saga is essential when it comes to any depiction of the Bakkers, it does tend to drag out quite a bit too long.
-THE THIRD ACT- This is not necessarily a complaint about this movie, as much as it is about biopics in general. The main problem that biopics tend to have is sticking the landing in the third act. So much montaging through what seem to be important moments in the subject’s life, and black screens with words that you have to read at the end of it all covering large sections of time in order for you to power your way to the end credits. That is indefinitely the case here.
I’ve always been annoyed by this over the years. More than likely I will continue to be, unfortunately.
THE UGLY STUFF
Nothing ugly to see here. Good movies like this don’t tend to have ugly bullshit that infuriates me enough to get me to turn on this caps lock key and start blasting some Slipknot before I get to typing angrily.
Thank goodness for that.
THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE is available in theaters.