I remember watching Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker on PTL when I was a kid, watching with my mom. They were a bizarre pair, even at first. This movie focuses heavily on Tammy Faye and her reactions to many of the scandals that happened to the Televangelist and his wife.
Jessica Chastain is imperceivable as Tammy Faye Bakker. I had to look up the actress as the film was underway because I did not know who it was under that excessive make up job. Jim Bakker, however, was easier to tell. This is the second film of the day that I have watched that starred Andrew Garfield, who is having a great year (maybe he’ll wrap up the year appearing in the potentially biggest movie of 2021 in Spider-man: No Way Home). Chastain and Garfield shoulder the weight of this film and their performances are fantastic. Without these, The Eyes of Tammy Faye would not hope to be a success.
Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker are followed from youngsters to the point where their TV show, PTL, was being viewed by 20 million people a day. Along the way there were moments of weakness that manifested itself as affairs and redistribution of pledges from fans that show the dangers of the excessive life lived by the Bakkers.
As it was going, Jim and tammy Faye maintained their likability and their charisma, showing how they could bilk their viewers out of so much money and still not consider themselves sinners.
Cherry Jones was great as Tammy Faye’s mother Rachel. Her old time beliefs and expectations somehow helped to create the fiery and unpredictable Tammy Faye, Vincent D’onofrio was another master class in make up as I did not recognize him in the slightest as he played another crooked televangelist, Jerry Falwell, who attempted to take advantage of the Bakker scandals to further his own ministry.
The biggest issue I had was that some of the plot felt like it was not connected well enough. It felt like a series of events with little crossover. I would have liked to have seen more effects of the choices made by Jim and Tammy Faye.
However, the performance are great and someone who did not know the story would consider this a wild ride.