Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Nativity Story

The Nativity Story (2006)

Mary (Keisha Castle-Hughes) and Joseph (Oscar Isaac) make the hard journey to Bethlehem for a blessed event in this retelling of the Nativity story. From director Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen), this meticulously researched and visually lush adaptation of the biblical tale follows the pair on their arduous path to their arrival in a small village, where they find shelter in a quiet manger and Jesus is born. Shohreh Aghdashloo co-stars.
My Two Cents: There's not a whole lot here not to like; it's a traditional, and at times beautiful, re-telling of a story we all know. (Extra points awared for its score's subtle incorporation of Christmas Carols.)

NetFlix Rank: Really Liked It
IMDB Rank: 8/10

Further Thoughts

With all of the hoopla that emerges this time of year about Christmas -- rampant commercialism, the secular "war on Christmas," the glee some people take in trying to dis-prove the widely held beliefs about the first Christmas -- it's refreshing to watch a film that at its heart simply celebrates a wonderful moment.

No matter how it transpired, the ultimate point of this story is that it transpired at all. Did it actually happen on December 25th? Were three wise men present to witness the delivery? Did they really bring gold, frankincense and myhrr?

Who cares?

The Nativity Story doesn't bog itself down in the minutiae of what's accurate and what's legend. It instead focuses on the elements of the story that matter -- namely that Jesus was born of a virgin womb to fulfill God's prophecy of a Messiah. It does that, and it does that very well.


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