Movie Diary 11/16/2021

The Eyes of Tammy Faye (Michael Showalter, 2021). I am now officially in “catch up on 2021” mode. It may be impossible for any film to navigate the balance of sympathy and hilarity required to address the clownshow that was the Jim and Tammy Bakker extravaganza, and this movie doesn’t get it right. But it has a number of inspired moments, and a few funny ones, and in general joins the list of Showalter’s almost-but-not-quite movie projects (these include The Big Sick and Hello, My Name is Doris). Andrew Garfield easily takes on the buttery grin of the vapid Jim, and Jessica Chastain is superb as Tammy Faye – Chastain makes Tammy Faye’s automatic giggle come to seem a desperate reflex against everything going bad, or a guard against the devil. Also, Vincent D’Onofrio plays Jerry Falwell as an imperious, sexist, craven asshole – yup, that checks out.

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