The Eyes of Tammy Faye


Biography / Drama / History

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 67%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 88%
IMDb Rating 7 10 1867

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
November 02, 2021 at 12:58 PM


Jessica Chastain as Tammy Faye Bakker
Jay Huguley as Jimmy Swaggart
Gabriel Olds as Pat Robertson
1.14 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 6 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by boblipton 7 / 10

The Problem Is That Man Made G*d In His Own Image

The movie covers the life of Tammy Faye Bakker from the time when, as a child, she went to a revival meeting and spoke in tongues. When we next encounter her, she is in seminary, listening to student preacher Jim Bakker -- Andrew Garfield -- doing a sermon in class. About three minutes later they are married, and five minutes after that, they are TV preachers.

Anyone who was paying attention to America in the 1980s and 1990s is aware of what happened to them: their establishment of PTL and its triumph as a televised ministry for the Charismatic movement, the growing stories of Tammy Faye's sins, Bakker's financial wrongdoings and homosexuality, and eventually their eclipse. What is surprising is that this movie portrays these two as sincere if deeply flawed, Bakker's millions in embezzlement as more of a cash-flow problem than anything else, and Tammy Faye's on-air personna as exactly who she was. That Chastain is able to keep this Lina Lamont character with runny mascara interesting enough to carry a two-hour movie is a triumph of not only acting, but make-up. Thirty years of aging in Garfield seems to be covered by changing his haircut, but Chastain ages from a common if attractive 20-year-old to a fat and frumpy 50 with tattooed lips and eyes. Best Actress Oscar is a tough call, but this looks like Oscar Gold for makeup artist Linda Dowds.

A movie like this needs a villain or six, and villainy is provided by Cherry Jones as Miss Chastain's mother, who denies her love because she divorced Tammy Faye's father, and prefers to play the piano at the church to smiling at her daughter; and Vincent D'Onofrio makes a very convincing Jerry Falwell Sr., jealous of the Bakkers' success, ready to court political power by turning G*d's love to hate, and with an utter disdain for women.

This tragedy of hubris is clearly intended as a warning to put not your faith in false prophets. Unfortunately, when people point at them, it's always some one else.

Reviewed by Quinoa1984 8 / 10

Sharp, funny and terribly involving with stellar acting

The Eyes of Tammy Faye is a riveting, uncomfortable tragic-comedy about Tammy Faye Messner nay Bakker and that bucket of chum-I mean charm her husband Jim and what it's like to be suffocating and perpetually sickened in a flaccid marriage hooked on Diet *Coke. It can't help but venture into beats where it finds the comedy in this living nightmare of Propsperity Gospel in part because the director Michael Showalter comes from that background (from Wet Hot American Summer to The Big Sick), but also because there are times if you don't have a laugh at the absurdity and near surreality that Tammy has found herself in and can't escape, because you know Patriarchy (and of course the scene where she pulls up the chair to the All-Men table is with as loud a chair as can be and only "Jerry" responses instead of Reverend, and dog bless her for that) you could right well explode. It should be awkward to be in these spaces some/most of the time. I'd feel awkward if you weren't feeling that way.

There are at times the movie can't not escape some moments or scenes where surely one thing happened in the real story and then a thing concurrently didn't (ie Tammy Faye talking to the Steven the AIDS guest on TV as Falwell happens to be visiting that day and tales umbrage with what he's seeing), and once the fall-out happens and Jim goes to prison the movie feels like it's going too long most in those last twenty or so minutes when up until then the pace has been terrifically jumping but connecting from one time to the next.

It's also hard not to wish a few details were kept in that strangely got left out either due to its already long runtime or who knows what - and I don't even mean Jessica Hahn, that's fine as it's ultimately Tammy Faye's story and that matters mostly inasmuch as what it does to drill the final nail in the coffin like a thunderbolt, I mean that Tammy Faye actually *married another PTL head honcho (the one we see briefly flirting with her in the golf cart) who ALSO went to jail for crimes while at the company. Sweet Jebuz!

But ultimately this is a film for an actor to sink his/her/their entire solar plexus into, and Chastain (also producer) never makes Tammy Faye's faith a butt of a joke. That's remarkable because the film could have made it a mockery and her belief and prayer is played and written completely sincerely, and yet at the same time she understands that this was a simultaneously someone who could fill a room with her presence while being the most chipper and wholesome thing this side of Mr. Rogers (she even had the puppets!) Every note she's give to play she performs it like she's trying to find a deeper level to tap into, and importantly she understands too when moments behind the scenes and on TV take on this heightened pitch-black comic state all on behavior.

As for Andrew Garfield, it's his best performance yet. He makes Jim Bakker into, well, what if Ned Flanders happened to get injected with a bit of the spirit of Jordan Belfort? A seemingly wholesome guy who actually is a total fraud in his beliefs as well as his practices, and every grimace and tightening of the face muscles is communicated loud and clear, not to mention how he pitches his voice which is a significant part of Chastain's work too. He makes Jim Bakker so pathetic and yet he never feels like he will slip totally into self parody, like as awful as he is he is still a human being and those faults are what makes him who he is. These are BIG personalities and Garfield, who I've found in so many roles to have this knack for creepy, makes him someone you can't stop looking at.

This turned out as good as I was expecting as far as the story (want more check out the You're Wrong About which I might add Chastain did in preparation, too), and my only other hope is it doesn't get buried too far come awards time.

Reviewed by ferguson-6 7 / 10

heart of gold

Greetings again from the darkness. We now have the latest example for those who fall on one side or the other when it comes to documentary vs dramatized biopic. Director Michael Showalter (the excellent THE BIG SICK, 2017) and writer Abe Sylvia have adapted the 2000 documentary from Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato - and even kept the same title. The focus here (obviously) is on Tammy Faye Bakker, as she and her televangelist husband Jim skyrocketed to fame before imploding in a quite public and spectacular fashion. Jim went from world-renowned Christian TV personality to scandal-burdened prison inmate, while Tammy Faye rose up from roots of poverty to beloved personality, before becoming a media and Talk Show punchline caricature.

Regardless of your preferred biopic style, or your memories of the Bakkers' rise and fall, most of us can agree that Jessica Chastain delivers a superb and entertaining performance as Tammy Faye. Already established as one of our finest actors, this is truly a passion project for Ms. Chastain, as she purchased the film rights nearly a decade ago. Here, as you might expect, her features are often buried under prosthetics and mounds of make-up to achieve the oh-so-familiar Tammy Faye look. She captures the babyish voice, the recognizable chuckle, and even sings the songs (very well) that Tammy Faye sang on camera and released albums.

Depending on your expectations, the film serves up a sympathetic view of a true believer with a heart of gold, or it merely skims the surface of a ministry filled with fraud, greed, and deception. And it's likely both. Tammy Faye is a bit of an enigma. As a child, she was forbidden by her mother (Cherry Jones) from attending church, as she served as a reminder of the 'Scarlet D' (divorce) burdening her mother. However, one sip of the sacrament sent young Tammy Faye (Chandler Head) into speaking in tongues and on the road to North Central Bible College where she would meet Jim Bakker.

Andrew Garfield portrays Jim Bakker, and captures the very familiar speech pattern and effeminate mannerisms of the man who proclaimed God did not want poverty for his followers ... a belief that led first to the Bakkers' "The 700 Club" on Pat Robertson's (Gabriel Olds) Christian Broadcasting Network, and ultimately to their own network and "The PTL Club", followed by Heritage USA, a Christian theme park. Along the way, they crossed paths with the powerful, ultra conservative Christian, Jerry Falwell (a reserved Vincent D'Onofrio), a man who was envious of the number of followers and the dollars generated by Jim and Tammy Faye. Falwell filled a significant role in how things played out for the Bakkers, and that part is touched on here.

Showalter opts to open the film with a montage of newscasts reporting the Bakker collapse, followed by Tammy Faye in 1994 commenting on her famous eyelashes by stating, "That's who I am." The rest of the film is a re-telling of the Tammy Faye story, though we are left to ponder, 'How much did she really know?". We see a good-hearted person - a woman brave enough to publicly stand up for the LGBTQ community despite the objections of powerful men in the church. We also see a woman who enjoys fine luxury living and asking few questions, while consistently holding to her message, "God loves you. He really does." Evangelicals, hypocrisy, financial standing, and political influence are all part of the story, but this is no deep dive into what sent Jim Bakker to prison. Even the Jessica Hahn scandal garners but a brief mention. Instead, this is the story of one woman who was trusted by so many prior to becoming a punchline. One could even say Jim and Tammy Faye were the pioneers of Reality TV, and their rise and fall are only unusual due to the ties to Christianity.

In theaters September 17, 2021.

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