The Eyes of Tammy Faye; This is Jessica Chastian’s Oscar Moment. Grade: B
The Eyes of Tammy Faye tells a story about a Christian woman named Tammy Faye (Jessica Chastian) whom developed a strong connection with God at an early age. The connection was so strong, she went to school to become a pastor like person professionally. While in school Tammy met Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield), whom had a witty charismatic personality that woo’d Tammy. Tammy and Jim got married and left school to start their own gig of preaching the word of God, through a puppet show like setting. Tammy and Jim one day met one that was associated in television, as Tammy and Jim made their way into television to making one of the most popular television programs that was centered on the word of God. Witness a couple’s rise in the television scenery and harsh downfall.
There’s actually a lot to like about The Eyes of Tammy Faye. From Cinematography, Costume Design, and Set Design… This is one the most gorgeous looking films I’ve seen in quite sometime, the range in colors and the accuracy in this time frame is outstanding. Honestly this film visually is eye candy for the viewer, like everything pops right at you as it has a great sense in style, I thoroughly enjoyed what I seeing. The makeup design was great as well, especially from the look of Tammy Faye as they’ve done an incredible transformation for Jessica Chastian to look almost identical as the real Tammy.
The cast is arguably the best thing about this film, mainly the leads Andrew Garfield and Jessica Chastian. I’ll be very surprised if Jessica Chastian doesn’t go home with some kind of gold this year in award season, as this is her best performance of her entire career, she was fantastic as Tammy Faye. Not only does she look the part, but she plays the part extremely well knocking down the accent and personality of this character down to the bone. Jessica is easily the most entertaining part of this film, especially in her musical numbers as she was freaking awesome and arguably gave Kanye competition on who could drop the best Gospel project of this year. Andrew Garfield was pretty damn good in this role as Jim, you can tell he had a pretty damn fun time as he was totally in the zone with this performance.
Tammy and Jim as written were both intriguing characters, as both can be up for debate between one that devotes their life to christ from the heart and one whom takes advantage of the word of God through greed. I thoroughly believed Tammy wanted to do great things while expressing her love for Christ, she’s had several strong moments where her beliefs were pure and honest, while empowering a group of people whom do not believe they could be loved by God as Tammy stood up for them rightfully so. With regards to how Tammy was living: I felt she was unaware of everything going on and as far as the lavish things around her… I believe Tammy was just dumbfounded believing she rightfully deserves and earns it, as she thought she was doing great things.
As for Jim… I honestly felt he was a con man from the start. There’s something about him that didn’t sit well with me, as he was more focused on the fame and fortune on spreading the word, than he was on actually helping others. Some may say Tammy was arouse by the fame because she liked being on stage, however Tammy had genuine feelings on faith while Jim just was thoroughly abusing his power.
The Eyes of Tammy Faye from a story perspective is entertaining, fascinating, and intriguing however there are several hanging flaws in which how this story was told. I felt this film ran on a bit too long and didn’t justify much within the run time. You can also say this film drags in several areas, some sequences ran on a bit too long or felt a bit repetitive. One main issue I had with this film that bothered the living hell out of me, was the fact this film honestly ditches the kids Tammy and Jim have… Like where the hell are the kids?! There is only about two scenes of the kids being shown in this film, as you question what is going on with their kids in all these crazy situations?! Where are they? How are they feeling? What do they think of their parents?! Who’s taking care of them?! I would much rather have something with the kids, rather than some moments in which didn’t needed to be stretched out or be repeated in the first place.
There is so much going for with The Eyes of Tammy Faye, that it’s honestly a surprise this film didn’t turn out to be great. Those hanging flaws mentioned earlier really held this film back from it’s greatness indeed.
Overall, The Eyes of Tammy Faye was a solid film. I recommend checking this one out, it’s definitely worth price of admission and worth seeing on a big screen. -Mitch Smietana