Complete A-Z list

Eyes of Tammy Faye, The  (DVD)


Stars: Jessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield, Cherry Jones, Vincent D'Onofrio, Fredric Lehne, Gabriel Olds

Director: Michael Showalter

Director Showalter hurtles headlong through the lives of televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker (pronounced Baker) in this largely conventional biopic that features a bravura turn from Chastain whose career has been lacking a major hit for some time now.

From a deeply religious family, Tammy Faye goes to Bible College where she meets the lectern-thumping Jim (Garfield) - catchphrase 'God loves you. He really, really does'.

In no time at all, they're married, to the shocked surprise of her mother (an excellent Jones). And, after early struggles, they become part of the inner circle of televangelists, and start their own show. Soon, they even have their own network.

But Jim, who is bisexual, begins to neglect Tammy (who becomes reliant on antidepressants), in favour of his grandiose building schemes, ostensibly for deprived people, which will eventually land him in trouble with both creditors and the law. Meanwhile, an eight-months pregnant Tammy is seduced by her sound engineer Gary (Mark Wystrach), and the 'perfect relationship' starts to fall apart.

The title refers to Tammy Faye's lifelong love of extravagant eye and face makeup - another cause of marital discord. The film itself finds it hard to elicit sympathy for characters who seem so shallow - it's historically interesting, but dramatically less than compelling.

David Quinlan

USA 2021. UK Distributor: Disney (Twentieth Century Studios). Technicolor.
122 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 1, Swearing 0.

Review date: 25 May 2022