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Drama - US

The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2022 in Spain)

Duration2h 6m
RatingsUK: 12A, USA: PG-13, Denmark: 7 
Source of storyA 2000 documentary by Randy Barbato, Fenton Bailey
DirectorMichael Showalter
Writers/ScriptAbe Sylvia
StarringJessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield, Cherry Jones, Vincent D’Onofrio, 
RatingsIMDb: 6.7 by 12,052 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 66% by 187 reviewers. Review2view: 7/10.

Elevator Pitch: Tammy Faye meets Jim Bakker where they are both studying at  Christian college, and they marry, leaving the college and going on the road as evangelists. In 1964 they join the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) and become popular show hosts. Later after the birth of their first child they create the Praise the Lord network (PTL) which expands into the support of the poor as well as a Christian theme park. But to the disapproval of her mother Tammy and Jim now have a luxurious lifestyle supported by donations from their followers. Jim becomes more distant and Tammy develops feelings for her music producer; worse, Jim confesses to infidelity and the PTL network experiences financial problems. Then Jim is arrested for fraud.

Content: There are a couple of non-revelatory sexual events, also quite a bit of drinking and some prescription drug taking on the part of Tammy, with detrimental effects. When Tammy is a child she is seen speaking in tongues in the local church. Jim and Tammy romance as students. They take part in TV programmes and get to meet important evangelists such as Jerry Falwell. Their TV presence increases as they commission a satellite. We see their luxurious pad which Tammy’s mother disapproves of. Tammy is drawn to her music producer. She sings quite a bit but gradually loses focus under the influence of Ativan.

A View: This film was probably never going to make any money. The Christian right won’t like it and the non-religious left will find it unsatisfying.  The real events in the Bakker’s life were more exciting than what was portrayed, maybe with reason called “The Eyes” but could she have been that naïve? Even so it is still something of a revelation to those of us who only just recollect what happened to them. And Jessica Chastain may win the Oscar. So worth a watch for the cost of a download (Already available).

Other Jessica Chastain films which may be of interest include: Molly’s Game, Miss Sloan and Lawless .

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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