We journeyed out to the theater to see Jessica Chastain’s newest movie, “355,”directed by Simon Kinberg.
The log-line says: “When a top-secret weapon falls into mercenary hands, a wild card CIA agent joins forces with three international agents on a lethal mission to retrieve it, while staying a step ahead of a mysterious woman who’s tracking their every move.”
The star power for the film, aside from Chastain who plays Mace, is provided by stars Penelope Cruz (Graciela Rivera), Diane Kruger (Marie Schmidt), Lupita N’yongo (Khadijah Adiyemi) and Chinese star Bingbing Fan (Lin Mi Cheng). The male lead of Nick Fowler is portrayed by Sebastian Stan and Edgar Ramirez has a small role as Luis Rojas.
The settings for the outing are glamorous. The film opens at a location described as 150 miles south of Bogota, Columbia. Before the tale about the totally untraceable master key cyber disrupter, which will allow the nation that possesses it to wreak havoc, winds down, we will have visited Berlin, Langley (Va) CIA headquarters, London, Marrakesh (Morocco), Shanghai, and many other exotic ports of call.
There is lots of fighting, with slight girls always besting the guys every time. What is the significance of the title?
“So the woman I played in Zero Dark Thirty talked to me a lot about espionage and I think when I was preparing for that she started talking about 355 and I asked her what it meant. And 355 was the secret code name for the first female spy during the American Revolution. And her name still remains a mystery to this day,”Jessica said at the virtual New York Comic-Con in 2020.
Lines like “When you live a life of lies, it’s hard to know what is true and what isn’t” made me think of Donald J. Trump, but it didn’t make me marvel at the screenplay, (courtesy of Theresa Rebeck).
I can’t recommend “355,” but “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” available on HBO Max, is pretty good.
Portraying Tammy Faye Bakker has garnered some talk of an Oscar nomination for Jessica, who plays airhead Tammy Fay Bakker, the partner of Jim Bakker in the PTL Club they founded in 1974. Tammy Faye is portrayed quite sympathetically in this film. The film is based on a documentary of the same name that was narrated by Ru Paul, a consequence of the gay community’s embrace of Tammy Faye, just as she had embraced the homosexual community during the AIDS crises of the 70s and 80s. Everything came crashing down in 1989.
In reading about the film, I learned that the scene involving Tammy Faye and a Nashville music producer, who was supposedly interested in her when she was 9 months pregnant, was not accurate. In fact, the producer in question was quite incensed at the suggestion. He did not give Tammy Faye a ride to the hospital to deliver baby number two, as the film depicts.
The way in which the couple met Jerry Falwell (portrayed by Vincent D’Onofrio) was also incorrect. It is portrayed as a chance meeting occurring when the couple’s car is stolen outside a motel, but the truth is that the couple had actually crashed their car and trailer earlier.
I looked up some information on Jim Bakker’s sins and misdeeds. He got 45 years, originally, but it was reduced to 8 on appeal and he even has been appearing on the television air waves again, hawking a silver substance that supposedly “cures” many diseases and various Covid cures, until he was told to knock it off by the authorities, One of the things that Bakker and his second wife were also selling on TV recently was survivalist food that would save the day in the event of the end of the world. During his days with Tammy Faye Jim kept a second set of ‘fake” books and also used church funds to underwrite a face lift for himself. The pay-off to Jessica Hahn for sexual services rendered, which Roe Messner mis-represented as charges for the building of Heritage USA, an evangelical theme park.
Tammy Faye, after her divorce from Jim Bakker in 1992, married Roe Messner, the character shown in the film as the developer of Heritage USA. A theme park that Jim Bakker was proposing. Tammy Faye made several appearances on Larry King’s TV show during her 11-year battle with colon cancer, which ultimately took her life at the age of 65 on July 20, 2007.