Movie Review: The Nativity Story (2006)

14 December 2011

With the Christmas season comes a multitude of Christmas movie reviews. As I cannot post these any other time of the year (well, I could, but it would feel awfully strange), you're are going to be seeing a lot of Christmas movie review posts popping up in the next few weeks. That's not a bad thing, though . . . at least, don't think it is. 

The Nativity Story

Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, starring Keisha Castle-Hughes, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Oscar Isaac
*Summary taken from the back of the movie

It was the cruelest of times. Under Herod's torturous reign, families struggled to survive, and yet, in the midst of utter turmoil, a young woman's faith was put to the test. Join Mary and Joseph on an incredible journey of hope and discovery. Epic in its scope, yet intimate in its portrayal of this historical family, this "wonderful film" (Bill Zwecker, Chicago Sun Times), is "a family feature that will be cherished for years to come" (Greg Russell, WMYD-TV, Detroit).  

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this movie because of how realistic it was. Despite the fact that we're told time and again that Jesus was born in a stable (some also say it was a cave that was converted into a stable), we still see a picture in our minds of Mary and Joseph smiling down on the Baby in a glow of heavenly splendor. Well . . . it wasn't exactly like that. And I think we also forget how very shameful it was to have a child out of wedlock in those times. A woman could be stoned in the streets for such a thing! The Nativity Story really brought to life the birth of the Son of God and how very humble and still beautiful it was. 

My only complaint is how Mary seemed unwilling and reluctant to be wed to Joseph. The details about their engagement are not clear in the Bible, but I always liked to think that they did love each other.

Pros: For a modern-day movie, this film did a remarkable job of keeping the content Biblically sound. They didn't try to brush over it or cheapen it in any way. The actors also did excellently in their respective roles, in my humble opinion. The music adds a good touch, and the story is portrayed very well.

Cons: Since we're talking about Herod's reign, there were definitely some violent scenes. Quick shots are shown of bloody, murdered men hanging from trees, and you hear the screams of women as their sons are murdered (thankfully, no graphics are shown here). After Mary is discovered to be with child, her father asks her, "Was it one of Herod's soldiers?" 

Memorable Quotes:

Mary: "There is a will for this child greater than my fear of what they may do."

Mary: "People will not look at you the same. They will not look at us the same."
Joseph: "You are my wife. I am your husband. That is all anyone need know."

Balthasar: "If I am correct . . . and I usually am . . ."

Mary: ". . . Do you ever wonder when we'll know?"
Joseph: "Know what?"
Mary: "When he is more than just a child. Will it be something he says? A look in his eyes?" 
Joseph: "I wonder if I will even be able to teach him anything."

Melchior: "How many days have you come with us on this journey?"
Gaspar: "One hundred and four." 
Melchior: "And how many days have you complained about it?"
Gaspar: "One hundred and five."
[Melchior looks at him confused] 
Gaspar: ". . . I am counting tomorrow."

Mary: [about the child, Jesus] He is for all mankind. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I recommend this film for ages 12+, due to the violence and other mature themes

9 epistles:

  1. LOVE this movie. It's so beauitfully crafted. :)

    Your hermanita,

  2. I really want to see this! =D Sounds like it's great.

  3. Love this movie, and your review about it was almost exactly how I see it too, in just about everything!!

  4. Hey Lizzy! I just wanted to let you know that starting today there is a Feminine Fashion Week going on at my blog, "The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker" (The New BBC [] :) I'd appreciate it you'd think about participating, as you seem to have contact with a lot of young ladies who strive to dress modestly! :) ~Rachel

  5. We watched it as a family just the other night. I thought it interesting that all of our lives we were taught the journey for Joseph and Mary was long... but the film really introduced me to the idea of just how hard and potentially dangerous that it could have been. It was also very endearing to see the love from Mary grow toward Joseph along the way. Each time he would protect her or sacrifice for the journey, you could see it in the way she looked at him. Wonderful film!

  6. I *love* this movie! Jo was the one who introduced me to it and, I have to say, it is the only movie that is an adaptation of a Bible story that I feel does a good job. I mean, The Ten Commandments is pretty good but not quite accurate :)

    Love ya, girl!

  7. This is definitely my favorite Christmas movie!! I love The Nativity Story so much.

    Lovely review, Elizabeth!

    Merry Christmas. :)

  8. Yes, Elizabeth. This is indeed a lovely movie. I agree with your review. I love the soundtrack, too. It is so special. It's become our family tradition to watch it on either Christmas eve or Christmas night every year. Can't wait:)
    Merry Christmas!

    Sarah (Joy's sister)

    P.S. It would be nice, if you could visit my blog sometime, Elizabeth. Here is the link:


"Gracious words are like a honeycomb; sweetness to the soul and health to the body." —Proverbs 16:24

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