I was recently surprised to discover that Jessica Chastain has only been nominated for two Oscars. She received a best supporting actress nomination for her role in The Help (and mind you, this was the year in which she also appeared in The Tree of Life and Take Shelter) and she received a nomination for best actress for her role in Zero Dark Thirty. Though her performances in Miss Sloane, A Most Violent Year, Molly’s Game, and Crimson Peak all received some buzz, none of them led to an Oscar nomination. That’s odd, as Jessica Chastain is one of those actresses who I think we tend to assume gets nominated every year. There’s already a narrative about how she’s long overdue for an Oscar.
Well, this year, she’ll be getting another shot at the Oscar. For that matter, so will Andrew Garfield and Vincent D’Onofrio. (Garfield was nominated for Hacksaw Ridge. D’Onofrio has never been nominated that, in all fairness to the Academy, he’s recently been more busy on television than in the movies.) They will be appearing in the upcoming autobiographical film, The Eyes of Tammy Faye. This film is directed by Michael Showalter, who previously did the respected (if not exactly Oscar-embraced) The Big Sick. Chastain and Garfield will be playing televangelists Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker. D’Onofrio will be playing Jerry Falwell. One imagines that the film will not only give them a chance to pick up some of those “I barely recognized them, they were so good!” reviews but it will also probably pick up some “If you want to understand how Trump happened, watch this movie” buzz. That could add up to Oscar glory, though I’m not sure if the early September release date is going to do the film any favors. With the way awards seasons goes, the most acclaimed films of September often seem to be forgotten by the time January roles around.
The trailer was released earlier today. As I watched it, I found myself thinking about I, Tonya, a film that picked up a lot of acting nominations, even if it didn’t pick up a nomination for best picture. Who knows? It’s probably silly to even speculate at this point. I will say that, based on the trailer, Chastain and Garfield’s performances both look really good while D’Ononfrio looks just a bit …. well, hammy. But sometimes, hammy works!
The film is set to be released on September 17th. Here’s the trailer: