THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield & Mark Wystrach
Direction by Michael Showalter & Screenplay by Abe Sylvia
I had no idea that this movie had actually been made until I found that Jessica Chastain had been nominated for her role as Tammy Faye Bakker. This was such a different type of movie, and it was such a pleasure to watch! I can safely say that I am wholeheartedly onboard with more biographical films: I had never heard of Tammy Faye before, and it was such an eye-opening experience to see the rise and fall of these unknown celebrities.
Let’s start with the actress who received an Oscar for her performance: Jessica Chastain. She has always been great at what she does, but this film propelled her over the top for sure. It takes somebody incredibly versatile to be able to convincingly portray one character at different ages - and she handled this somewhat daunting task super well! This was particularly evident in the final scene! There was so much grit shown by Chastain in the final song of the production. It was one final display of faith and commitment despite her loss of everything. It was incredibly powerful to watch. She was 100% able to capture and do justice to Tammy Faye’s jubilant spirit, and it was an excellent tribute to her legacy. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for Andrew Garfield. Whilst his acting was perfectly fine, the one thing that really bothered me was his accent. It was so obviously fake, and it sounded very ingenuine. It’s such a minor complaint in the grand scheme of what was otherwise a great film, but it sort of ruined part of the charade for me.
The story was pretty compelling, which is especially interesting as I had no prior knowledge of the Bakker couple, and I don’t follow the Christian faith. The fact that this deeply religious movie has been able to effectively touch the lives of people of so many different faiths is a testament to how excellent it was.
My big issue was that the scenes were quite uneven. There were lots of fun, short and uplifting scenes, which were followed by a few scenes which were very upsetting and stretched for long periods of time. This massive polarity between the scenes meant that, at some times, I would lose interest in the plot slightly. Last but definitely not least was the costume & make up design! What is Tammy Faye without her iconic eyelashes and bright coloured makeup? The sheer attention to the minute detail really elevated this film, in my eyes.
Whilst the movie definitely had some weak points, Jessica Chastain’s acting more than made up for it. Tammy Faye said it best: ‘We are blessed [to have seen this film]!’