Release Date: December 1st, 2006 by New Line Cinema.
The Cast: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Oscar Isaac, Hiam Abbass, Shaun Toub, Alexander Siddig, Nadim Sawalha, Eriq Ebouaney, Stefan Kalipha, Said Amadis, Stanley Townsend, Ciaran Hinds, Shohreh Aghdashloo.
Directed by Catherine Hardwicke.
BASIC PREMISE: Mary (Castle-Hughes) marries Josephn (Isaac) and treks to Nazareth for the birth of her son, Jesus.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Even those familiar with the Nativity story will feel lost in this dull and unfocused movie, which is just as stilted and awkward as the recent re-imagining of the Purim story in One Night with the King. Keisha Castle-Hughes who has shined before in Whale Rider, doesnít quite shine as the biblical character, Mary. She gets married to Joseph, played by the bland Oscar Isaac. Even the brief scenes with talented actress Shohreh Aghdashloo as Maryís cousin canít add any liveliness to this stale plot. The screenplay by Mike Rich feels so silted and awkward that itís easy to forget youíre watching human being actually converse, not because of the different way biblical characters talked back then. Director Catherine Hardwicke fails to add anything to truly hold your attention, except some beautiful settings and intricate costume designs. Too many scenes drag from tediousness and blandness, even during important scenes. Ultimately, The Nativity Story overstays its welcome at 93 minutes, which feels more like a 3 hour made-for-TV movieóand this, believe it or not, comes from the director of Thirteen.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Dull, stilted and tedious.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 14
IN A NUTSHELL: Great costume designs and beautiful settings donít compensate for a dull, tedious plot with stilted dialogue and bland characters.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: TV
The "N" Menu