The Eyes of Tammy Faye

She may not win, but Jessica Chastain deserves Oscar consideration as she brings Tammy Faye to life.

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

With her performances here and in The 355, Jessica Chastain has an acting range unequaled in the movie industry. Find another actress who could have embraced this role which included doing all of her own singing.

Beginning with her religious upbringing as a child and then jumping to her marriage to Jim Baker (Andrew Garfield, more later), you watch Tammy Faye become a national TV celebrity. Her and husband Jim start a dominant TV show that sadly exploited their viewers and raised enormous funds, while preaching the glory of being wealthy. Millions were used for a theme park and to pay for their extravagant lifestyle.

While Tammy Faye fights drug addiction and eye makeup that Ms. Chastain replicates, she also was the first person on the national stage to embrace homosexuality and the scourge of AIDS. In the process, she alienated the right-wing pundit, Jerry Falwell. You’ll remember Vincent D’Onofrio as he recreates that heartless human being masquerading as a disciple of Jesus.

I remember this TV show from the 1980-90s. I hated it. and it was worth remembering the conviction and imprisonment of Jim Baker for fraud. Quite frankly, you have to applaud Garfield’s role as this offensive conman. and he adds to his glowing reputation flowing from this year’s Spider-Man and “Tick, Tick . . . Boom!

Before closing, let me also recognize the performance of Cherry Jones as Tammy’s mother. Her religious dedication allowed her to challenge her daughter as she drifted toward the dark side.

This was really a good movie that recreated a moment in history that left most of us shaking our heads in disgust. All the more reason to praise the performance of Ms. Chastain.