"The Nativity Story" is Just that and Nothing More

Genres: Drama and Politics/Religion
Release Date:
December 1st, 2006 (wide)
Rating: PG for some violent content.
Distributors:New Line Cinema

Directed by: Catherine Hardwicke, Harvey Harrison (II), Andy Lumsden

JJ Rating: D+

Have you ever seen a nativity scene? Okay then you understand what The Nativity Story is about. It’s about getting to that “holy” scene.

I’ve read the Bible account about how Jesus was conceived and how he was born and this movie follows that as closely as it wanted to. They made the star out to be something that was put there by God when it was put there by Satan to get Herod’s attention to find Jesus so that he could kill him. The Bible never mentions how many Astrologers went to seek where this star would lead and never did it state that they were wise. When they find Jesus, because the star moves to guide them, he is older and not just born as the movie shows. It is correct when it states that the shepherds come and see Jesus but wrong when it shows that the “Wise” men see him at the same time. They do not. When the Astrologers (wise men in the movie) leave after seeing Jesus they have a dream that tells them not to go back to Herod to tell him of what they found. In the movie they think of this idea themselves. The angel is never named in the movie. In the Bible his name is Gabriel.

The information is there and yet they wanted to just do a movie about a single scene and that’s why it failed. I enjoy watching movies based on Bible events because I’ve read them. It is interesting to view how someone sees what is going on after reading the event. Their vision of what it says sometimes renders an interesting viewpoint. Like in The Prince of Egypt were it shows the dangers Moses had to go through while floating down the river, how rich he was as a prince or how people could see animals in the sea as they walked through it to escape. Then The Passion of the Christ showing facial reactions of Mary while seeing her son tortured, how abused and beaten he was or how passive he was during the event. Also One Night With the King showing how beautiful Esther was, how humble and well thought she was or how menacing people were who she had to go up against.

The Nativity Story had a chance to provide such insight but instead it was more interested in a single moment than in what lead up to that very moment. I understand that was why it was titled the way it was but I did have hope it would give more than what the title predicted. It did not deliver such hope at all. It showed two things I did not think about a whole lot: how people would react to Mary being pregnant without Joseph’s help and how Joseph would feel about being a father to a perfect son—as in what would he be able to teach him?

This movie was more into YAY for Christmas than anything else. So “the clapper” had the right emotional response because that was what the movie wanted to provide: Christian Power. Who is “the clapper”? He was an older man who felt the need to clap during the movie whenever something important, to him, occurred. This movie had no intent on sharing a story as much as it had rather glorify a single moment….just as the titled suggests.

“The clapper” clapped at every YAY Christian moment. YAY Mary was impregnated by the holy spirit. YAY Joseph believes her because of a dream. YAY Mary’s birth pains. YAY for the bright star. YAY the star glows on Mary’s sweaty forehead. YAY Jesus was born. Not only did the movie make me roll my eyes because of how much they altered to make this movie, I also rolled my eyes because of “the clapper”.

This movie was a total waste of time besides a few good moments. It was dead acting and not a lot of excitement until the end when the scene was being prepared to be glorified. No where in the Bible does it glorify Jesus birth as much as Christmas does but I’m sure they know that they just wanted to sell a movie to the Christmas loving public. But all they did was preach to the choir and they won’t reach a single new person with this sappy story that was loosely based on actually events taken from a Bible that is crying right now. There, there Bible maybe next time someone will actually read you and get your story straight.

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