Just a quick holy minute after stills from The Eyes of Tammy Faye of Jessica Chastain in sequins-embedded Tammy Faye Bakker drag came out, a trailer has been released and it shows the rise and fall of the Bakkers as Evangelical royalty and Tammy Faye’s transformation into a gay icon. The Eyes of Tammy Faye was directed by Michael Showalter and he wrote Wet Hot American Summer, so he knows camp, but TEoTF isn’t full camp, because producers do not want to scare off Oscar voters and want to make sure that next year, Jessica Chastain is holding her OSCUH up high as her fake lashes hold their Best Supporting Actress OSCUH!
The Eyes of Tammy Faye is based on the 2000 documentary of the same name. In addition to Jessica playing the fake tanner-dipped Kewpie Doll Christian goddess, Andrew Garfield plays Jim Bakker, Cherry Jones plays Tammy Faye’s mom, and Vincent D’Onofrio suffocated his face with prosthetics to play Jerry Falwell, Sr. The trailer seems to be a Cliffs Notes version of the movie because it shows Tammy Faye’s entire journey from naive evangelist con man’s wife to Christian pop star to fallen evangelical blossom to LGBTQ advocate. Sadly, it doesn’t look like they touch on Tammy Faye’s Surreal Life days, so we won’t get any scenes of her bestowing her A-list star power onto that field of Z-listers. But here’s a synopsis for the movie:
The Eyes of Tammy Faye is an intimate look at the extraordinary rise, fall, and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker. In the 1970s and ’80s, Tammy Faye and her husband, Jim Bakker (Garfield), rose from humble beginnings to create the world’s largest religious broadcasting network and theme park, and were revered for their message of love, acceptance, and prosperity. Tammy Faye was legendary for her indelible eyelashes, her idiosyncratic singing, and her eagerness to embrace people from all walks of life. However, it wasn’t long before financial improprieties, scheming rivals, and scandal toppled their carefully constructed empire.”
80s glamour is my favorite source of nutrients so I, for one, am into the trailer:
But I will say that while watching it, I did think, “Oh, so I guess Jessica decided to mostly do Tammy Faye’s natural look.” Because at times her makeup looked more like Hedwig in a rush than Tammy Faye. Jessica’s face doesn’t have nearly enough layers of Estee Lauder Double Layer foundation on it and her lashes aren’t completely right to me. Jessica’s fake lashes just look like fake lashes while Tammy Faye’s looked like spiders raising their legs to the heavens to praise GOD for ending up on Tammy Faye’s face. And I don’t know about Andrew Garfield as Jim Bakker. They should’ve just gotten a hardened rapey shit log wrapped in polyester to play that alleged raping fraudster (some things never change), but if they did that, people would ask, “How on earth did producers get the real Jim Bakker to play himself?”
And then there’s Vincent D’Onofrio as Jerry Falwell, Sr. I was going to say that Vincent as Jerry looks a little Phillip Seymour Hoffman-ish but the late great Phillip Seymour Hoffman doesn’t deserve that!
The Eyes of Tammy Faye will be released on September 27. If it’s a hit, I fully expect a bigscreen biopic about those other televangelist fraudsters: Paul and Jan Crouch! So if you’re a giant teased ball of opulent cotton candy with thespian dreams, update your headshot because your big break could be coming!