Jessica Chastain harnesses an effervescent, electrical whirlwind in her transformative, new career best role of Tammy Faye Bakker. Bringing to life the eccentricities, the faith, and the person behind those permanently made up features.
Using the documentary film of the same name as its launching point, Showalter’s film, laced with humour, and drama guides us through Tammy Faye’s life, using her relationship with her faith and Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield) as its centre.
Chastain is completely submerged in her role, practically channeling Tammy Faye’s larger than life behaviour, and through it reminding us of all the good she did do, not just for her faith, but for all people, a lot of whom ‘traditional’ American Christians had turned away from.
With a supporting cast that includes Cherry Jones as Tammy Faye’s mother, Frederic Lehne and Vincent D’Onofrio, Showalter’s film takes easy flight, and Chastain launches, yet again, to new heights with a captivating and dazzling performance that resonates with truth.
Bringing the flamboyant Tammy Faye to life could have been no easy task, but Chastain is chameleon-like, and will no doubt draw well-deserved praise from her performance, all while the film makes the subject matter not only accessible but damned enjoyable.
The Eyes of Tammy Faye is a revelatory role for Chastain, a fascinating look inside television evangelism, faith, love and the human heart.
The Eyes of Tammy Faye screens this even in person at TIFF and digitally on Saturday.