The Eyes of Tammy Faye

The Eyes of Tammy Faye ★★

I'd argue that there are roughly 4 different impulses as to why biopics get made:

1. To investigate the very essence of a figure of historical significance (Lincoln, The Social Network, I'm Not There, Steve Jobs, First Man)
2. To shine a new light on an undersung and/or misunderstood individual (Just Mercy, I, Tonya, The Disaster Artist, The Imitiation Game)
3. «Wow, this person sure was awesome/sad/interesting/crazy/evil/important!» (Bohemian Rhapsody, Ray, Hacksaw Ridge, On the Basis of Sex, Trumbo, Respect, Monster)
4. To act as an empty vanity project for actors and make-up departments to win awards (J Edgar, Grace of Monaco, The Iron Lady, Judy, a lot of recent Benedict Cumberbatch vehicles)

Now, I'm not here to say which of those is the right way to go (it's #1), but to show what happens when you have no take at all on the subject you're about to portray.

Then you get a film like The Eyes of Tammy Faye, a movie that is about... making fun of a person suffering from some kind of mental illness? The hypocrisy of televangelists? Tammy Faye, the underappreciated #Girlboss? Tammy Faye, the unexpected LGBT ally?

I honestly couldn't tell you – because I'm pretty sure the movie can't either.

2021, #163

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