The Nativity Story

by Richard on November 26, 2006

I’m not at all sure what to make of The Nativity Story — I suppose I’ll just have to wait for an opportunity to see it. Cinemas Online describes it as “biblically faithful, historically authentic and visually stunning” so big claims are being made. Whether they’ll be lived up to is another thing. But at least the Director hasn’t indulged the current fashion for making the audience stay in their seats for the best part of a fortnight. The Nativity Story weighs in at a very reasonable 1hr 41m which sounds about right.

Whatever the merits of the film turn out to be, I couldn’t help but smile at the news that the 16 year old actress who plays Mary, Keisha Castle-Hughes, had to miss the movie’s Vatican premiere on account of being pregnant.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1

blonde 11.26.06 at 9:16 pm

allegedly she was already booked for filming somewhere else before the premiere date was set, and the pope’s missing it for entirely unrelated reasons!

2

Stephen Fife 11.26.06 at 10:26 pm

Yes, as I understand it some Evangelical Christians are upset and boycotting the movie because she is 16 and pregnant out of wedlock. Gotta love the irony of a 16 year old girl who is playing Mary in the movie being pregnant out of wedlock and Christians being mad.

3

blonde 11.26.06 at 11:43 pm

what do they say about life imitating art??

4

Ben Myers 11.26.06 at 11:53 pm

“… the current fashion for making the audience stay in their seats for the best part of a fortnight” — yes, this current fashion is so exhausting. When you have to arrange babysitting in order to go to see a film (as I do), it’s always annoying to discover that the film you were hoping to see is impossibly long!

On a more positive note, I love the irony in this Christian outrage over Keisha Castle-Hughes’ pregnancy. Presumably moralistic Christians wouldn’t have given Mary a room for the night either….

5

Bob Cornwall 11.27.06 at 12:49 am

In regard to its biblical/historical accuracy. From the previews it looks as if once again Matthew and Luke will be merged together. Of course it would never sell to have it based on just one narrative!

6

Kim 11.27.06 at 7:15 am

The real irony is not Keisha Castle-Hughes’ pregnancy, it’s her double-barrel surname, which in Britain goes for very posh, upper class, high Tory Doesn’t guite go with the singer of the protest song we call the Magnificat! (I’ll be posting a hymn on Mary soon.)

7

D 12.03.06 at 1:24 am

I went to see this last night, opening night. As a recently baptized Christian, I will tell you that this was a most welcomed, meaningful and revolutionary movie for me. It centers around the mother of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

A superbly crafted and thoughtfully directed movie, it deserves a high rating. It is an unprecedented tribute to a woman who has been relegated to backdrop scenes. Finally, Mary gets to have a movie about her spiritual journey. In my own life, Mary was in the far distant background, giving her fleeting thought if I came across a Nativity scene at Christmas or if I heard the Beatles song, “Let It Be”:

“When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be. And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be.”

It was made for a certain niche — the ~200 million or so Americans who consider themselves Christians. Two years ago, I was not in this niche, being “spiritual, but not religious.” Long story, short, it was Mary who pointed me to her Son, lead me on my own spiritual journey and caused a revolution in my heart, mind and soul.

Those who take the time to learn about her and her role do not, as I was mislead to believe, worship her. They simply respect and venerate her. Leading folks to her Son, as I learned, is her job. In this movie, her character is doing exactly that again for me and viewers who are called to see it.

Ever since she lead me home, Christmas has taken on such meaning as I never imagined. This year, I’ve started the season — called the Advent season — with a faith-based movie that allowed me to slide right into it in a beautiful, gentle and do I dare say, beatific way.

This movie experience is an exquisite gift for the heart and soul. Moreover, it is a feast for the eyes. I went past the inanimate objects of Nativity displays to a visually rich and “fleshed” out Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, shepherds, Magi and stable animals. The director of the movie, Catherine Hardwick, referred to a line in the script: “…the greatest of kings born in the most humble of places.”

“Power,” she says, “is not a physical power. It’s not riches, it’s not money, it’s not control of governments and nations. It’s a deeper power, spirituality.”

At the end of the movie, the audience burst out in spontaneous applause. For each of us, Christmas is not at all about holiday parties, frenzied shopping and the trappings and physical accouterments. Now, THAT’S revolutionary.

When this comes out in DVD, it will be a part of our yearly Christmas tradition, reminding us what it is all about.

“Merry Christ-mas!” I hope you will make it meaningfully merrier by giving yourself this movie experience of the life of Mary.

8

LLP 12.08.06 at 10:07 pm

Would this be suitable for young children? My 4 and 5 year old have both said they would like to see it.

9

KCJ 12.19.06 at 9:27 pm

Temporarily living in the U.K, I was very excited to learn of this film and desperately wanted to see it……..Unfortunately the theaters that are showing it here only show it once a day and only monday thru friday. The show times were either at 10:00 a.m. in the moning or at 1:00p.m. in the afternoon of any given day. This has proved true all throughout theaters listed as showing it in Great Britain. NO EVENING OR WEEK-END SHOWINGS…AND NO SHOWINGS AT ALL THE WEEK AFTER CHRISTMAS. The only way for most people to see it would be to take time off work or school. Secularism strikes again. No movies about Christ at times when anyone can see them at Christmas time!! …Guess I will have to wait for the DVD……

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