HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Deerskin
Toll, The
Two of Us
Nowhere Special
Rainbow Jacket, The
Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1
First Cow
Undiscovered Tomb
Being Frank
Occupation: Rainfall
Jeanette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc
   
 
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
   
 
  Nativity Story, The Away In A Manger
Year: 2006
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Stars: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Oscar Isaac, Hiam Abbass, Shaun Toub, Ciarán Hinds, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Stanley Townsend, Alexander Siddig, Nadim Sawalha, Eriq Ebouaney, Stefan Kalipha, Alessandro Giuggioli, Farida Ouchani, Saïd Amadis, Maria Giovanna Donzelli
Genre: Historical, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: Two millennia ago, there was unrest in the land of Israel as King Herod (Ciarán Hinds), the monarch placed under the Roman rule, was disturbed by the threat that the prophecies as predicted in the scripture were to come true, and the new King of the Jews would be born. As Herod saw himself as the holder of that title, he took drastic action and decreed that the recently born male children in the area should be put to death... but were the prophecies correct? Had the Saviour been born? To answer that question, we had to go back a year and follow young Mary (Keisha Castle-Hughes).

Since popular fiction's idea of a Christmas movie tended to mean more and more that it should include Santa Claus, and any mention of religion was left to church on the big day, it should have been refreshing that director Catherine Hardwicke (the woman who brought Twilight to the screen) opted to go back to where the whole celebration began. The approach she adopted, from Mike Rich's script, had taken its cue from the then-recent success of Mel Gibson's uber-religious Passion of the Christ in the hope it would cash in on the Christian moviegoing audience, except here instead of being as extreme as possible, realism was the order of the day.

So the cast were taught about how the characters they portrayed would have lived their lives, and the set design was as accurate as it could be given what was known about the era, with actors looking as if they had stepped out of the pages of the Bible. So far so good, yet as with so many of the faith-based entertainments the appeal was not likely to extend beyond the confines of those who actually had some investment in the first place, therefore if you knew and believed the story, you would appreciate it far more than those who were none too bothered one way or the other, or those spoilsports who were wont to point out how unhistorical much of the Biblical detail was.

There was no Roman census bringing citizens back to the place of their birth for a start, and if you had issues with troublesome facts such as that you were not going to get on with Dr Bashir from Deep Space Nine showing up as the Archangel Gabriel to tell Mary that she is now carrying the child of God thanks to the deity impregnating her. Hardwicke seemed interested in the issue of teenage pregnancy for a more modern take to make this relevant, but that was a mistake (never mind that the sixteen-year-old star fell pregnant at the time the movie was made), mainly because it broke the spell of the scripture and had you pondering why God thought it was such a good idea to act more like Zeus, his randier predecessor.

Obviously there was room for many interpretations of the old, old tale, and a Christmas card version could have looked somewhat shallow, but there was something to be said for keeping a measure of the magic of the season in the production, and there was some of that here. Just not enough: yes, there were regular updates from the Three Wise Men, looking as if they deserved their own movie really, and as it progressed they gave into the more traditional trappings with the Star of Bethlehem beaming benificiently down on the characters as the shepherds were assembled and so forth. The lead up to this was half-hearted moves towards examining the crisis of feelings Mary and Joseph (Oscar Isaac) must have been going through, but if they were going to go in that direction the story began to fall apart, hence the later reliance upon what every Nativity tale presented. The overwhelming problem was that everything here was largely sincere and respectful to the level of incredible boredom. Music by Mychael Danna.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2442 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: