September 22, 2021

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‘The Ice of Tammy Faye’ Review: It Humanizes the Baker’s Saga

6 min read

“The Ice of Tammy Faye” stars Andrew Garfield and Jessica Chastain as Jim and Tammy Faye as Baker, a self-styled Christian TV personality who has transformed televangelism into a game-changing, culture-shaking, credit-card-changing industry. / Cult / Diversion. The movie, which is a glamorous up-and-coming story, was directed by Michael Schwalter, who almost always made comedy (“The Big Sick,” “The Lovebirds,” “Wet Hot American Summer”), so you can expect him to be Bucker. Think of the story as a delicious piece of keychain – in a sense.

There’s a bit of that, but Showalter is something more deceptive, and probably more artistic. In “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” he gives Jim and Tammy Faye Baker the full dignity and stigma of their humanity. He knows that a lot of people think of Bakkars as walking cartoons, and in the case of Tammy Foy, with his infamous trawled-on-60s-raccoon-to-Maybelline clown-freak makeup, he relied on self-parody. The story of the Buckers is already over-the-top. So Schultz, based on the 2000 documentary of the same name by Fanton Bailey and Randy Barbato (scripted by Abe Sylvia, author of the TV series), made the clever decision to run it live. The Buckers, more than three decades after their terrible fall from grace, need not be ridiculed – they need to be understood. Chasten and Garfield give performances that are ruthlessly entertaining but cany and layered, as the characters get caught up in something much bigger than themselves. The Buckers were a great sequel hackster, and the film uses their spectacular greedless soap operas to tell a larger American story of how Christianity turned into a showbiz.

The film opens in 1960, when Jim and Tammy Faye meet at a Minneapolis Bible College where Jim is already a breakout showman. With his nimble pomp and simple smile, he looks like an early rock ‘n’ roller (or perhaps a snacky Frankie Avalon). He is only 20 but knows his scriptures, and while he was on stage during a student evangelist seminar, looking at Pew with dozens of other students, he wanted to be another dull path for God. Jim wants to catch people, to listen to them. Of course, that means doing everything about him.

Jim asks the students why Christianity is always so stylish and punitive. Why not be rewarded here and now? He’s sniffing at the college’s Daudy righteousness, which makes Tammy Faye, who sits in Pew, smile. (She begins to give him her advice.) But listening to Jim, we already hear an early version of the Gospel, like Joel Austin’s (Baker’s ultimate heir), who turns around a huge golden globe and preaches, telling millions of people that Being a Christian means a life that shines with success. Jim is already selling that message of faith Provides, A message he will spread to the bank all the way.

Meanwhile, Tammy Faye is a lively believer who falls in love with Jim and is happy to find himself stuck in the chu-chu train of his show-boat faith. He is also a born actor; She’s wearing a Porky Pig bubble-bath hat and it’s a fashion in Susie Moppet, a doll that allows her to speak in a little girl’s voice যা which is both cute and scary, since it’s a fun-loving way to reach Tammy Foy’s kids The first few people, the idea is that if you can get the kids, their people will follow), but because Tammy Faye is an arresting personality who himself is never more than a doll’s voice. .

Both of them became a traveling preacher without money but a fancy car. But as they walk out of a motel in Virginia, Fate contacts their Christian Broadcasting Network, a runaway local operation led by Pat Robertson (Gabriel Olds), who hires their kids to do shows, such as “Mr. Rogers’ Neighbor” Bible Including the story. On CBN, Jim became one of the hosts of the “700 Club”, the station’s flightship nighttime talk show. The show originally came out of a telethon (in 122, members paid ১০ 10 to keep members floating on the station – a miracle!), But Jim, with his velvety voice and quick humor, has what it takes to turn “The Tonight Show.” “700 clubs in its smooth Christian version. He’s not just the organizer – he’s the one They. And he became addicted to it.

So is Tammy Faye. She insists on being an integral part of the TV empire (many claims that expose her as her own woman), and when Baker is given their own program, they pave the way for a new metaphysics of televangelism. Christianity became a feeling-good diversity show. Became a pious man Fans, Hypnotized (and guilty) phone phone line calls and their hard-earned cash commitments. Passing the collection plate turns into a “Let’s Make Deal” ritual, which makes people in the house think they’re part of the show.

And it’s all being done for Jesus!

Yet with the Buckers, it becomes even more disturbing than that. The hook of their two-headed personality is how relative they are, and so the ups and downs of their marriage are involved in the show and are part of the fundraising. (Tammy Faye, an act of passive aggression, first tells Jim that she’s pregnant on camera.)

Garfield plays Jim with a gentleman’s demeanor but below them, a brilliant brilliance. He wants fame. He wants big houses, that kind of has his boss Pat Robertson. He isWants. He found the PTL satellite network and became the syndicated Elmer Gantry of TV Dan, mingling with his audience and using his new energy to fulfill his desires, including his attraction to men. When Tammy Faye shows Jim a wrestling spy on the floor, a little sympathetically, with his assistant, he is shocked – not because his feelings (or movies) are gay, but because he understands, with a push, that he doesn’t do what he’s married to. I don’t know. And she doubles down when she starts to get the air of Jim’s financial crime.

Why watch “The Ice of Tammy Faye” instead of the original documentary, which is awesome? Because this version, in order to increase our connection with the characters, sheds new light on who they were and why they did what they did. It’s Tammy Faye who comes to occupy the spiritual center of the movie, and Chesten, with a bomb-outside glow that she’s never come close to, makes her an enchanted diva-victim who continues to evolve.

At first he was innocent of the 50s in Donna Reid hair curls. Then he’s a child-voiced doll maestro. Then she’s a bored housewife who realizes she likes limelight. She is then an innate Christian feminist who, at a house party, demands a seat at Jerry Fallwell’s table (she thinks women should be seen and not heard). He then invites Steve Peters (Randy Heaven), an AIDS sufferer, to the show, and for him his tears are real or crocodile tears (Tammy Faye, both types of it), he takes a sympathetic stance.

Vincent D’Onfrio plays Fallwell as a power broker who sees gay people as the devil, and we see through him how the new Christianity will market itself, competing with secular America for its own corrupt position. In contrast, Tammy Faye is an impressive exhibitor, but by giving God’s AIDS to people living with AIDS, he shows what true Christianity is – and, by it, what Christianity is taking shape around him. (It turns out to be hate.) Then she wakes up one day and realizes that her husband is not just a Philander, a thieving sociologist, selling fake shares to fund the Heritage USA theme park, using promises as a leveraged piggy bank to God.

Jim certainly gets his due fall. Meanwhile, Tammy Faye sang “Republican War Song” through her tears (and mascara). Chastain showed you that Tammy Faye was a deceiver, not only could he be part of a very deep chicken, but also a kind of innocence. In a sense, “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” which I would call a very good TV-movie. It caught me every step of the way, but it has a prosciutto, down-to-the-middle, one-on-one quality. It’s a bit long, a final work that could have been better structured. Yet these two actors never gave up. Garfield made Jim a postmodern con artist looking back at our own era, and Chastain finds the intricate heart of a woman who had true love inside, but loved fame so much. On their way, they created a pathology that was beyond them, all around this question: if the least Christian thing you can do is sell your soul, is saving one more Christian because it involves the highest bidder?

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