The Nativity Story (2006)

The Nativity StoryI bought The Nativity Story for my parents for Christmas (along with Planet Earth and Blue Planet) and remembered that I had never posted about it here. Shanna and I watched it last spring when it first came out on DVD. It’s not fresh on my mind, so I can’t give a detailed review, but I do remember enough to know that I enjoyed it and would recommend it.

It was very faithful to the biblical accounts. While I wasn’t convinced that all of the ways they acted out the story were the best, those issues were minor and their interpretations were generally within the bounds of viable options. I was initially disappointed with how abruptly the movie came to an end, but then I remembered that it was a movie about Jesus’ birth, not His life. Though The Nativity Story isn’t my favorite biblical movie, it is one that I would recommend and will probably watch again.

Other Reviews:

  • Peter T. Chattaway’s review at ChristianityToday.com
  • Al Mohler’s review at AlbertMohler.com
  • David DiCerto’s review at CatholicNews.com
  • Dale Mason’s review at AnswersinGenesis.org
  • Steven Isaac’s review at PluggedinOnline.com

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4 Responses to The Nativity Story (2006)

  1. Tim Ashcraft December 28, 2007 at 6:28 am #

    I, too, thought the movie was good; not perfect, but very good. It struck me as being sensitive to the scriptural account, not going overboard with artistic license to fill out the details of the story. I would have changed a few things, mainly a chronological detail at the end to allow for the temple visit and Simeon’s prophecy before the flight into Egypt. They did a good job portraying Herod as paranoid and Joseph as righteous. The portrayal of the magi and the star were plausible and interesting. The portrayal of the birth was thrilling and the slaughter of the innocents tragic without being graphic. The soundtrack music was wonderful, combining renaissance-era melodies and chants with rhythmic music that might have been from first century Judea. It was a good mix of familiar and unfamiliar tunes to make it seem authentic and still be enjoyable for western viewers.

    I watched it when it first came out on DVD last spring and hadn’t seen it since until watching it with my wife as part of our Christmas week observance. I think I enjoyed it more the second time; maybe there’s just something about seeing it this time of year. I recommend it.

  2. Chris Anderson December 28, 2007 at 10:47 am #

    Hi, Phil.

    We watched it a few nights ago with my in-laws, and I enjoyed it. I thought it was reverent and generally accurate, and it made me consider facets of the account which I hadn’t heretofore: the difficulty of the journey, the ferocity of Herod and the slaying of the innocents, the suffering of the Jews, the embarrassment of both Mary and Joseph, etc. It took the star to be essentially a natural phenomena vs. a miraculous guide, and it had some unfortunate omissions, including the “Glory to God in the highest” of the angels and the divine warning of the Magi to depart another way (which the movie presented more as a “hunch” on their part). Generally, though, I was pleased.

  3. Samuel Sutter December 28, 2007 at 11:21 pm #

    once you’ve gone “Hollywood”… it’s hard to go back.

  4. Phil Gons December 29, 2007 at 12:07 am #

    Thanks for sharing your two cents, Chris. You’re right that seeing things often have a greater effect than simply reading them. I remember being deeply moved at the scene when Jesus was born. I was struck in a fresh way with the realization that God become a human! I agree that they could have done better in some ways, but generally it was better than I expected.

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