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Starring: Jessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield, Cherry Jones, Vincent D’Onofrio, Fredric Lehne, Mark Wystrach, Sam Jaeger, Gabriel Olds, Jay Huguley
OUR RATING: ★★½
Bio-drama directed by Michael Showalter. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021) follows the rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker (Jessica Chastain). In the 1970s and 80s, Tammy Faye and her husband, Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield), rose from humble beginnings to create the world’s largest religious broadcasting network and theme park, and were revered for their message of love, acceptance, and prosperity. However, it wasn’t long before financial improprieties, scheming rivals, and scandal toppled their carefully constructed empire.
Our Favorite Quote:
Tammy Faye Bakker: [referring to her lips] They’re permanently lined. And my eyes are permanently lined, and my eyebrows are permanently on, so there’s not a whole lot you can do.
Fred Grover: There’s reasons you can’t be seen in church, Tam.
Rachel Grover: Grown-up reasons.
Little Tammy Faye: Is it because everyone thinks you’re a harlot? And I come from a time before Fred made you respectable and stuff.
Jim Bakker: God, He came right down, and He whispered it in my ear. He said, “Jim Bakker, I intend for you to thrive, to live, and to love in this life.” He said it to me. But us Christians, we’ve been taught that we’re supposed to expect failure. When Jesus calls you home, you think you’re going to get a bonus if you make yourself miserable?
Jim Bakker: Heaven is heaven, that is for sure. But God’s hope for us is that we live, and we thrive, and we love here in the promised land. Here and now. Here and now, and in this very, very moment. God does not want us to be poor! Oh, no! He will gift the faithful with eternal life, eternal love, and eternal wealth!
Jim Bakker: Tell me something. Tell me a secret. Something that no one else knows about.
Tammy Faye Bakker: Oh, I have no secrets. I’ll tell you anything you want to know.
Jim Bakker: We’ll start with everything.
Tammy Faye Bakker: I’m a very practical person. And what you see is all there is of me. You know, I don’t pretend to be something I’m not, because what you see is all you get. And I love people. I have a genuine, genuine love for people. And I hurt when people hurt, and probably a little more dramatic than people would like me to be. But I enjoy that. That’s just who I am.
Jim Bakker: I’ve never met anyone quite like you, Tammy Faye.
Rachel Grover: Tammy Faye. What did you do?
Tammy Faye Bakker: Hello, mother. This is Jim Bakker. My husband!
Rachel Grover: [referring to God] What did He tell you to do this time?
Tammy Faye Bakker: Come spring, me and Jim are going to be traveling preachers, bringing God’s love to all people. Anyone who’s hurting, or they feel like they’ve been left out. Jim will preach, and I’ll sing. And we’ll be like Oral Roberts and his wife.
Rachel Grover: Oral Roberts went to college.
Tammy Faye Bakker: God said that we’re supposed to have a good life. That way, we can help bring his love to all people.
Rachel Grover: There’s a limit to God’s love, Tammy Faye.
Tammy, Jim: No.
Jim Bakker: No, there’s no limit to God’s love, Mrs. Grover. And there’s no limit to Tammy Faye and I either.
Jim Bakker: [to Tammy] “Everything works for good for them that love God.” Everything. But you have to have faith in Him, and in me, and in us, because if you don’t, I don’t know what I’m doing here.
Jim Bakker: It’s not a drag to be saved. It’s not a boring thing. That’s religion. See, you got them mixed up. Religion is boring and dull, but Jesus is life.
Rachel Grover: Serving God don’t feel like it should be a moneymaking opportunity.
Tammy Faye Bakker: [over phone] And there’s so much that we don’t talk about. There’s so many secrets. And, you know, everyone says I’m supposed to be tired, but I just want to love people.
Rachel Grover: You got me out of bed to talk to me about how you’re not tired. Does that make sense to you?
Tammy Faye Bakker: No.
'You follow blindly. In the end, all you are is blind.' - Rachel Grover (The Eyes of Tammy Faye) Click To Tweet
Jerry Falwell: [referring to Tammy] She’s a firecracker, Jim.
Jerry Falwell: Now God has a voice in this fight.
Tammy Faye Bakker: Who’s He fighting?
Jerry Falwell: The liberal agenda. The feminist agenda. Homosexual agenda. It’s time for a reversal of these trends. The only hope’s in saving America.
Tammy Faye Bakker: Well, you know, I don’t think of them as homosexuals. I just think of them as other human beings that I love. You know, we’re all just people made out of the same old dirt. And God didn’t make any junk.
Jim Bakker: I’m trying to build something here. I’m not messing around. God told me He wants me to have what Pat has. But if you keep acting like that, if you keep talking to Falwell that way, I’m not going to ever get there.
Tammy Faye Bakker: Well, God’s been talking to me too, you know, Jim? And He said that I got to speak up.
Tammy Faye Bakker: You can’t leave me at home all alone, feeling unloved, and useless. And He said that I belong on TV just as much as you do. And that I should sing, and I should be funny. And I should talk about real things for grown-ups. Just, you know, just the way you do. And he says I’m not going to tell people who’s going to Hell, Jim. We’re in the business of healing people.
Jim Bakker: Jim Bakker is going to be a builder for Christ.
Tammy Faye Bakker: Oh, yes, he will.
Jim Bakker: And Tammy Faye Bakker is going to sing her gospel all around the world. We are going to spread His word.
Jim Bakker: And remember, never forget it. You know what I’m going to say. God loves you. He really, really, really does.
Tammy Faye Bakker: Every day, I have rapture.
Rachel Grover: Rapture? You just spent an hour talking about pumping p**ises.
Rachel Grover: I’m not sure what’s so Christian about decorating a cupcake.
Tammy Faye Bakker: Well, you can’t believe everything that you read in the newspapers, mom. How’s Fred doing? Is he settling in okay?
Rachel Grover: Smoke and fire isn’t just the providence of Hell, girl.
Tammy Faye Bakker: You know when I saw that clipping with my face on it, I thought for a second that you were proud of me.
'I won't go forward looking in the rearview mirror of my life.' - Tammy Faye Bakker (The Eyes of Tammy Faye) Click To Tweet
Rachel Grover: Oh, Tammy Faye. You follow blindly. In the end, all you are is blind.
Tammy Faye Bakker: We’re not doing anything wrong though.
Jim Bakker: Is that a question?
Tammy Faye Bakker: No.
Jim Bakker: Tammy, I need your help. I need you not to get in my way. And I need you to not ask more of me than I can give.
Jim Bakker: Tammy and I are undergoing the most vicious attacks in the history of this ministry.