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The Nativity Story

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,172 customer reviews

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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.

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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 (1,172 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MGBM1I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,568 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Nativity Story" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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