"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Sunday, December 21, 2008

SNMR 5.28: The Nativity Story

The second SNMR feature for this weekend is "The Nativity Story"(2006, PG, 101 minutes), starring Keisha Castle-Hughes, Oscar Isaac, Hiam Abbass, Ciaran Hinds and Alexander Siddig. The film was directed by Catherine Hardwicke.

PLOT SUMMARY: The year is 4 BC and children are being murdered in Bethlehem under the authority of King Herod. Specifically male children two years and younger, for according to the prophecy, a king will come out of Bethlehem ready to rule Israel.

Flash backwards one year to the tiny Galilean town of Nazareth, where a carpenter named Joseph has been pledged to marry a young girl named Mary. Mary has a visit from the angel Gabriel who announces that Mary, a virgin, will give birth to a son who will save his people from their sins. When Joseph learns of the pregnancy he vows to divorce her but relents when Gabriel visits him in a dream to reassure him that the child in Mary's womb is of the Holy Spirit. Several months later, Joseph must visit the town of his ancestors to register for Caesar's census. Joseph is of the house of David and must travel to the Judean city of Bethlehem more than 100 miles away.

Shortly after they arrive, Mary goes into labor. There is no suitable rooms available for them, so they set up in a grotto where Mary gives birth to a son.

MY OPINION: With movies like this, where the source material is so widely known and beloved by billions of people, variation from the central story is near to impossible. What this movie does well is flesh out the story of life in pre-first century Palestine and how difficult it must have been socially for newly betrothed Joesph and Mary, who is pregnant. They, by custom, are not supposed to start a family until after their first year of marriage. This film also does a good job of painting the historical perspective of the superstitious Herod and his uneasiness with Jewish prophecy.

One thing going for this film is that the two main leads look like they are middle eastern, unlike some other biblically-themed movies.

This is a good, solid film which won't wow you with special effects, yet will move you in subtly profound ways. It drags at times but is overall a very enjoyable 101 minutes of your life, should you choose to rent this movie.

*** out of *****

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