A closeup of Jessica Chastain as Tammy Faye Bakker in "Eyes of Tammy Faye"

Jessica Chastain Is an Absolute Marvel In The Eyes of Tammy Faye Trailer

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Sorry to every other woman starring in a movie this year, along with everyone doing hair & makeup on other movies, because based on the trailer for The Eyes of Tammy Faye, those Oscar categories are now locked up.

The Michael Showalter film follows the rise and fall of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, two of the most successful televangelists to ever live. The two created an empire, complete with their own television network and a Christian theme park. The film looks to span their entire (at least adult) lives, and Jessica Chastain is unrecognizable as Tammy Faye in her later years. This is a woman who was as famous for her lavish makeup and wigs (the higher the hair, the closer to God, after all) as she was for her evangelism.

From the trailer, we can see that the film touches on Tammy Faye’s inclusive attitude toward LGBTQ+ issues, including the AIDS crisis–an incredibly unique stance within the world of 1980s evangelism.

The trailer also highlights Jim Bakker’s (played by Andrew Garfield) financial scandal that ultimately led to the fall of their empire, as Bakker was convicted and imprisoned for misusing ministry funds.

Interestingly, the trailer does not touch on the other event that led to the Bakkers’ downfall. Bakker was accused of rape by Jessica Hahn, a church secretary, although Bakker and pretty much all media coverage at the time and since has framed the assault as merely a scandalous affair.

It would be very odd for the film to leave that part of their story out entirely so I’m guessing they’re saving it for future trailers. I’m also approaching the film with cautious trust that Showalter won’t sanitize that alleged assault in the way we’ve seen media do for decades. Overall, everything about this movie so far looks absolutely fantastic.

The film also stars Cherry Jones, Vincent D’Onofrio, Sam Jaeger, Fredric Lehne, Louis Cancelmi, Joe Ando-Hirsh, Randy Havens and Gabriel Olds. It’s set to release on September 17.

(image: screencap)
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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.