Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Nativity Story (2006)

Historical And Biblical But Lacks Feeling

- The greatest story ever told is not told very well here in 2006's The Nativity Story. For a story about "the nativity," few minutes are actually spent *at the nativity*!

The story that the film tries to tell is the story of Mary and Joseph leading up to the birth of Jesus. Of course, nobody knows what Mary and Joseph's life was outside of what the Bible says so the filmmakers are forced to make stuff up. Luckily, what they make up could have very well have taken place as the film is Biblically sound and historically accurate with what life was like in Roman-controlled Israel. Actors Keisha Castle-Hughes (Oscar-nominated for The Whale Rider (2002)) and Oscar Issac play Mary and Joseph, respectively, and do an admirable job. And here is an interesting bit of trivia for you: the 16-year-old Keisha Castle-Hughes actually got pregnant by her boyfriend during the filming - which, while absolutely hilarious and very ironic, is not particularly Christ-like.

Unfortunately, while the film does not stray far from what the Bible and history allows (and there is some nice photography featured in the film as well), The Nativity Story is a fairly lifeless film. The film progresses scene to scene with little energy or emotion, defined by the occasional pretty shot but also stiff acting across the board and a story with an end that we have all read or seen a thousand times. Some aspects do ultimately redeem the film (no pun intended) and make it a watchable Christmas story but I think that it would take the actual Holy Spirit to bring this film back to life and make it a great Christmas movie.

CBC Rating: 6/10

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