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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Saw "The Nativity Story"

I took my family last night to see The Nativity Story. I'm giving it 4 stars out of 5. It was beautifully filmed and reverently treated. Most of the plotting moves along kind of slowly. Some of it is unabashedly schmaltzy, but there were scenes that were quite moving. I'm not ashamed to admit that I shed a few man tears. (I told my son I had something in my eye.)

A few negatives. First, I didn't really care for using the magi as comic relief. And the film perpetuates the misunderstanding that the wise men came to the manger. Scripture actually says, of course, that they arrived later, perhaps a year or two later. But for me, this is a minor point.

I guess I was most disappointed with the angelic appearances. Especially disappointing was the event with the shepherds. Very lame. First, the dude cast as Gabriel was funny looking. And secondly, what's the biz with the voice on the wind? Gabriel should have been majestic, striking holy fear in those who see him. Since the angel is critical for the narrative, this is a substantial weakness of the movie.

Otherwise, the casting was superb. Herod was sufficiently creepy. Mary appears humble and holy. And what a terrific Joseph! This is the first time I've ever seen Joseph so well developed. Contemplating the much neglected role of Joseph certainly deepens one's grasp of the Christmas event.

I'm hoping you all go see this movie. Take your kids. They'll enjoy it and you can use it as an opportunity to teach them. Even moderate box office success will lead to future reverently made biblical pictures.

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1 comment:

yunkerwi said...

The actor who played Gabriel was Alexander Siddig - Dr. Bashir for all you trekkies out there.

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