There’s so much to be stated concerning the extraordinary world of televangelism, and this biopic of Tammy Faye Bakker, one among its main lights within the Seventies and Nineteen Eighties, goes some option to interrogating the glitz, glitter and grungy actuality behind the ministering. If it could’t fairly get below the pores and skin of the girl herself, it not less than captures the weird function Bakker performed in well-liked Christianity and the unlikely arc of her profession.
Tammy (Jessica Chastain, below an more and more elaborate collection of wigs and prosthetics) is a bubbly younger idealist when she meets Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield, strong as ever) at Bible faculty. The pair impulsively marry, which will get them kicked out of faculty and units them off as travelling preachers. Quickly they’re rising by means of the ranks of televangelism because of strokes of fine fortune and, after all, God’s plan for them as they see it. However as the size of their operations will get larger and Jim begins taking monetary shortcuts, their empire is put in danger.
It’s handsomely made, however can’t fairly clarify the place her infinite optimism got here from and why we must always cheer for her restoration.
That is based mostly on the 2000 documentary of the identical identify by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, and each movies lean into the campness of Tammy’s look and her larger-than-life persona. She did some commendable issues — she was a uncommon televangelist who actively embraced the LGBT+ group and reached out to AIDS sufferers on the peak of that epidemic — however she additionally turned a wilfully blind eye to her distant husband’s corruption and, on this account, assisted him in successful over buyers.
Chastain does her greatest to indicate Tammy’s heat coronary heart, her appreciable contributions to the motion and her rising agony at her husband’s failings, however the girl nonetheless basically defrauds the general public so she will gown in furs, and the movie by no means fairly reckons along with her personal guilt. It’s handsomely made — director Michael Showalter successfully warms the palette into golds and reds as Tammy and Jim get to work and dials the color again down after their shame — however can’t fairly clarify the place her infinite optimism got here from and why we must always cheer for her restoration from a foul marriage and public shame.