The Eyes Of Tammy Faye are pretty hard to find among all the layers of permanent and applied makeup. False eyebrows, false eyelashes – and the eyeliner and shadow are even permanently tattooed. She would never show herself in public without her make-up, the aged protagonist states in the flash-forward at the beginning of Michael Showalter’s ” The Eyes Of Tammy Faye ” – and the following biopic then sets itself the task of authenticity to uncover those thick layers of fake and artificiality. A tough plan, but one that succeeds here in an amazingly touching way.
Following this prologue, the narrative jumps far back into Tammy Faye’s childhood, when, as a child of divorce, she is banned from attending Baptist church services—at least until the girl proves her acting talent and begins before the miracle-believing congregation to speak in supposed tongues. Tammy Faye’s religion has been shown business from the start – but unlike many of the religious figures who will cross her path in life, her beliefs aren’t necessarily any less heartfelt because of that.
The incredible but true career of Tammy Faye begins when she meets a young preacher, Jim Bakker ( Andrew Garfield ), at the Minneapolis Religious University. Michael Showalter (” The Big Sick “) stages their first meeting as a coming together of two kindred spirits. In front of the gray gentlemen of the Christian faculty, who embody a sparse, joyless faithfulness to the Bible with every fiber, stands a slightly irradiated young man who tries to explain to the eminences his conviction that religiosity and the enjoyment of material goods are by no means mutually exclusive Conviction that first forms the foundation of a tremendous success story and then also of a presumably inevitable deep fall.
In this wonderful scene, however, she first helps win the heart of young Tammy Faye, who—giggling, happy, and a bit clumsy—also seems an alien in the venerable religious institution. Soon the two newly in love marry and the story of their ascent begins with Tammy Faye making the hand puppet Susie Moppet from an empty shampoo bottle, with which she entertains the young audience in church services from now on. The television preacher Pat Robertson ( Gabriel Olds ) becomes aware of this form of a sermon, which is suitable for children, and brings the Bakkers to the TV screen for the first time.