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The Nativity Story

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Editorial Reviews

Nativity Story, The (DVD)

In a story of profound faith revered by much of humanity, one young woman struggles with the destiny for which she is chosen--to give birth to the Son of God and to become the object of salvation for billions of souls--a deeply moving journey told in A Nativity Story. The Academy Award-nominated star of Whale Rider, Keisha Castle-Hughes, portrays Mary, a young wife and soon-to-be mother upon whom a seemingly impossible burden will be placed. Over the two years before the birth of Jesus, as Mary realizes that she will bear a child fated to change the world, she discovers the inner strength, faith and grace that have earned her the veneration of billions of people for two thousand years.


Special Features

  • Includes widescreen anamorphic and full-screen formats

Product Details

  • Actors: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Oscar Issac, Hiam Abbass, Shaun Toub, Alexander Siddig
  • Directors: Catherine Hardwicke
  • Writers: Mike Rich
  • Producers: Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 4, 2007
  • Run Time: 161 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (994 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MGBM1I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,304 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Nativity Story" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

250 of 254 people found the following review helpful By Kona VINE VOICE on December 9, 2006
You know the plot: After young Mary is betrothed to an older man, she is told by an angel that she will bear God's son. She could be stoned for this pregnancy, but Joseph has a dream explaining the situation, and he takes her as his wife. They must then make the difficult journey to Bethlehem for the census, and they arrive just in time for the baby's birth in a stable.

It is a lovely story, told quite simply and tastefully. The costumes and village sets are rough-hewn and authentic-looking in earth-tones. The international cast features Keisha Castle-Hughes as a straightforward and uncomplaining Mary, used to hard work and Roman tyranny. Oscar Isaac is a warm and protective Joseph. Shohreh Aghdashloo is wonderful as Mary's cousin Elizabeth; in fact, the entire cast is excellent.

The movie is suitable for all ages and I hope it becomes a tradition to show it on television every Christmas. It sticks to the Bible story and is happily lacking in Hollywood razzle-dazzle. The photography is beautiful and it is respectfully directed. Highly recommended.
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120 of 121 people found the following review helpful By family-style on February 9, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you're looking for a gradiose production in Cecil B. DeMille style, this film is not the one for you. But, if you want a sense of the mystery and beauty... the true meaning of Christmas, you will find this film everything your heart could desire. Throughout, the writers and director did everything possible to be in conformity with the history and theology of the birth of Christ, so that no mainstream Christian will find anything contrary to the scriptural account. While there are moments (like the slaughter of the infants and the birth of John the Baptist) which may not be suitable to little children, I highly recommend this film for family viewing. With a little sensitive explanation, most kids 12 and up should have no difficulties.

As for the performances, they are excellent (with, perhaps, the single exception of the Archangel Gabriel, whom I found a bit distracting)! Throughout, you get the sense of really getting to know the principle characters of the nativity narratives... what they might have been thinking, how they may have felt. The film provides unique perspectives that most never take the time to think through, and those perspectives bring the story to life. Again, if you have problems with films that are not packed with motion and non-stop action, you probably won't make it through this one. If you enjoy deep thought and prayer, on the other hand, this film will more than satisfy. I love it and I'm buying multiple copies for all of my friends that missed it in the theaters.

Note: After reading a few other comments from others, I wanted to add a brief post-script regarding the scriptural accuracy of the film.
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134 of 137 people found the following review helpful By Golstriker on January 20, 2007
Format: DVD
While any Christian would like this movie, what was particularly moving for me was how it depicted the relationship between Mary and Joseph. All the difficulties they overcame, from public scorn to doubting the future, and wondering why they were put in the position they were in. Their relationship is loving, yet reverent for their bigger assignment. They are a team on a journey. So many times I wondered what the two might have said to one another, and the two people who play the roles are uniquely suited for them and they pull the whole thing off with splendor. This is a must-have for any Christian family during the holidays, and a wonderful story to show youngsters as they grow up. Certainly it's the best-ever depiction of the nativity that I have seen and probably ever will see.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Marc Axelrod VINE VOICE on December 23, 2006
This is a beautiful depiction of how the birth of the Son of God happened. We get to see Joseph and Mary as people of character who really want to live righteously for the Lord. We see the godly and discerning Elizabeth as she counsels Mary on how to handle these unique circumstances.

I have always wondered how Mary broke the news to Joseph and her family about her divine pregnancy. How do you explain something like that? This movie gives a very realistic picture of how that news would have been initially received.

After Joseph's dream reveals to him that Mary's pregnancy is from the Lord, he goes to her and says "I believe you! I believe you! You shall call His name Jesus!" It is a touching scene!

Next, you have the long 100 mile journey to Bethlehem to register for the census. The baby Jesus is born in a cave in Bethlehem, though a good case can be made that the manger he was placed in was in the part of a house occupied by animals than a cave per se.

Also, the Magi (who are the funniest people in the film) are portrayed as coming to the cave the same night the shepherds are there, though scholars have suggested that the visit of the Magi in Matthew 2 may have been a few months later.

But I found the movie to be deeply satisfying, and it made me worship Jesus again as our Savior and Newborn King! All praise and glory and honor be to the Lord Jesus Christ!
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Format: DVD
When you're talking about film adaptations of the story of Christ's birth, the old rubric "if you've seen one, you've seen them all" just does not apply. That is especially the case with The Nativity Story, a truly wonderful film that conveys great spiritual power, even as it brings home the humanity of Mary and Joseph to a degree few of its predecessors ever even attempted. Keisha Castle-Hughes is wonderful as young Mary, but I tend to look upon this film as Joseph's story, and Oscar Isaac is more than up to the task of bringing this humble carpenter to vivid life.

The Nativity Story basically tells the story of Mary and Joseph from the time Mary is betrothed and then finds out she is to give birth to God's Son up through the time of Jesus' birth and the family's evacuation to Egypt. It does an exceptional job of humanizing Mary and Joseph. At 14, Mary is on the brink of womanhood, and early on we are treated with several moments showing us a glimpse of the normal child she was. Her sudden betrothal to Joseph is not something she welcomes, but we see it as a reality of family survival in those troubled times under the double domination of Herod and Rome. When the angel appears to her, she accepts the good news he brings - yet she doesn't completely believe it until she finds her much older cousin Elizabeth carrying the child who would be Jesus' messenger. Her most trying time comes when she returns home. A lot of adaptations tend to gloss over this part. Put yourself in her place, though - she's a 14-year-old girl, betrothed to a good man, who returns home with a child she claims to have been miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit. Her story was even less plausible back then than it would be today.
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Passion of the Christ!
None of the "Passion of the Christ" films were bloody enough to be the truth. They actually scourged Him so badly the guy in charge told the men beating Christ that they were going to find He's bled to death before He even made it to His own crucifixion.
Mar 3, 2009 by Jeanne |  See all 2 posts
I know Mary wasn't sinless but comeon.
The way I viewed it, the lady just takes Mary's hand and starts to read it. Mary doesn't request her services. Being polite, she just let her do it for fun.
Dec 6, 2008 by Sara |  See all 9 posts
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