Abe Sylvia, Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato
Andrew Garfield, Jessica Chastain, Vincent D’Onofrio
Biography, Drama, History
Rated: PG-13 for sexual content and drug abuse
Jessica Chastain stars as Tammy Faye, famous wife of televangelist Jim Baker (played by Andrew Garfield). This is based on the documentary and explores the life of Tammy Faye and the world of televangelism is a comedic and dark twist that I enjoyed watching.
First the acting, which is the strongest component of this film by far. Jessica Chastain gets the role of her career and certainly Oscar-worthy performance as Tammy Faye. The amount of prosthetics used as well as coats of make-up that reportedly permanently damaged Chastain, her dedication to the role will win over anyone watching. Her character is desperate to be a star, and due to her circumstances has to make it through her faith. I like how the film explored her resistance to the more homophobic and sexist tendencies televangelism adopted early and continue to this day. But at the same time, you wonder how much grace you can give Tammy Faye being seemingly unaware of the mysteriousness behind her husband.
Andrew Garfield also does an incredible job as Jim Baker. He transformed into the role and proves once again why he is one of the best actors of our generation. His chemistry with Chastain is wonderful and he is able to still bring out a sympathetic character even through hearing about the truth of their relationship. Vincent D’Onofrio is also great as the head of this broadcast group that sets the tone for how each show should run.
Overall, the story seems to lend a lot of forgiveness and understanding to Tammy Faye when I feel in the end, there’s no way she couldn’t have know about the legal dealings and issues with her husband and their show. Whether the film wants to lead you that way is up for debate, but it is still a wonderful acting performance from both Chastain and Garfield. Go in with a darker sense of humor and you will be greatly rewarded.