The Nativity Story

The Nativity Story

Catherine Hardwicke (2006)

PG Certificate


Our Score
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.


A woman is visited by an angel and told she is to give birth to the son of God. While pregnant, she is forced to accompany her husband on an arduous journey to his birthplace, where King Herod knows of the prophecy and fears the birth of the child - and will go to any lengths to prevent it. Biblical drama, with Keisha Castle-Hughes, Oscar Isaac and Ciaran Hinds.

Cast & Crew

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
Director Catherine Hardwicke
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: EntertainmentGuidance: Violence.Available on: DVDReleased on: 8 Dec 2006