The Nativity Story

  • PG
  • Catherine Hardwicke (2006)
  • US
  • 96 min
The Nativity Story
Film Review
Reviewed By
2 out of 5

After crashing onto the indie scene with the dynamic and controversial growing-pains chronicle Thirteen, director Catherine Hardwicke shows much more decorum for The Nativity Story. Unfortunately her retelling of the Christmas story is rather too reverential, full of po-faced performances from a cast that includes Keisha Castle-Hughes as the Virgin Mary. Considering that Mary is a young teenager at the time she falls miraculously pregnant, she has surprisingly little awe or curiosity about her predicament (qualities that Castle-Hughes exuded in abundance in coming-of-age yarn Whale Rider). It doesn't help that Hardwicke treats every extraordinary incident as a given, shying away from too much speculation about Mary's innermost fears. She portrays icons instead of human beings, while Ciaran Hinds comes across like a pantomime villain in the role of King Herod. None of this will concern devout Christians, but anyone hoping for more than an RE lesson will be disappointed.

Plot Summary

Religious drama starring Keisha Castle-Hughes, Oscar Isaac and Ciaran Hinds. In the small town of Nazareth, teenager Mary is reluctantly betrothed to a young man called Joseph, but is then visited by an angel who tells her she has been chosen to bear the son of God.

Cast and crew

Cast

Mary
Keisha Castle-Hughes
Joseph
Oscar Isaac
Anna
Hiam Abbass
Joaquim
Shaun Toub
King Herod
Ciaran Hinds
Elizabeth
Shohreh Aghdashloo
Zechariah
Stanley Townsend
The Angel Gabriel
Alexander Siddig
Melchior
Nadim Sawalha
Balthasar
Eriq Ebouaney
Old shepherd
Ted Rusoff
Gaspar
Stefan Kalipha

Crew

Director
Catherine Hardwicke

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
Entertainment
Guidance: 
Violence.
Available on DVD
Released 8 Dec 2006
Certificate PG
Categories
Drama