The Nativity Story
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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. There are a few trivial differences from scripture such as the Magi coming to the manger on the night of the birth and not arriving at "the house" some time later. But, let's be reasonable. You DO have to allow for the time constraints of the movie and permit a couple times where the story is "condensed" (such as in this moment) in order to keep the story line moving. However, you will find that, where these liberties are taken, it has no impact on the story and the message of the bible. I know my scriptures well and I had no problems with this movie. I would hope that this movie would become a tradition for every Christian household during the Christmas season so that Christmas would once again become that season of grace... of quiet and humility... of hiddenness and charity... just as it was meant to be (instead of plastic trees, loud noise, pushing and shoving at the malls, runaway commercialism, etc.) Perhaps, if this movie hasn't made the kind of money that sick comedies or blood-and-gore action movies usually draw, it's a good sign. Maybe it will tell us that this movie brings to us precisely the kind of counter-cultural message that the world needs to hear... a message "rejected" that is the very cornerstone of Christian belief.