The Nativity Story
The Story (Potential Spoilers)
A period drama that focuses on Mary and Joseph’s life from their first meeting to their journey to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus.
For billions of people worldwide, The Nativity Story is basis for their Christmas celebration. Many Christmas traditions are linked to the story of the birth of Jesus, from the most obvious (Nativity scenes) to every Christmas household (gifts). For those billions, Jesus is the Reason for the Season.
The Nativity Story is the theatrical depiction of events recorded in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke and to some extent the Apocryphal Gospel of James. Needless to say the source material is limited to a few chapters and verses of the Christian Bible.
One may wonder how you arrive at a 101 minute movie with such limited source material. Catherine Hardwicke (director of Twilight) actually uses this extended and undocumented narrative to strengthen the movie. Not just simply filler, the movie delves into aspects of 1st century Jewish life as we see historically accurate Jewish dwellings, rituals and more. Another strength is the relatively unknown cast. Most of the cast are Middle Eastern (save the lead, she is from New Zealand), which also adds an air of realism.
Hardwicke does a fine job overall in presenting taut and sometimes intense retelling of the birth of Christ.
In summary, I find The Nativity Story to an excellent film. Having studied the culture of 1st Century Judaism extensively, I find that The Nativity Story presents a strong, not quite flawless, look at the life of those who lived during this time. I can recommend viewing this feature for that reason alone, however it is a truly outstanding film that didn’t get it’s due recognition after falling into the shadow of Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ.
The Nativity Story is one of the most superior sand and sandals/biblical movies ever and most certainly one of the top Christmas movies.
9 Candy Canes out of 10