Film reviews are subjective. I tend to rate films not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.
The Nativity Story (2006) from New Line Cinema
Rated PG. Drama, Historical, Faith, Christmas
My thoughts: Albeit Jesus, naturally, is a major theme in this film, the work as a whole shouldn’t be relegated down to a little Christmastime-Jesus-in-a-manger story. Keisha Castle-Hughes, Oscar Isaac, and their supporting cast bring wonderful humanness to this picture, the three wise men adding some nice and unexpected humor.
I’ve heard other viewers say that the actors’ dialogue is “stiff” or what have you, but I’m pretty sure the filmmakers weren’t trying to portray the characters as modern and Western, speaking as modern Westerners would. The simple expression and cadence of the dialogue help to keep the story in a time, place, and culture far removed from many of us.
Also, the love story here between Mary and Joseph is well-developed. Again, it doesn’t play out like a nowadays-Western romance, but Castle-Hughes and Isaac bring it to life with a quiet kind of beauty. And the growth of their characters is clear–they’re not the same two people in the stable in Bethlehem that they were back in Nazareth.
Quite a movie.
My corresponding reading: Two from Galilee by Marjorie Holmes.