Monday, December 11, 2006

The Nativity Story

Yesterday, I took my youngest daughter to see The Nativity Story. Beautiful. A delightful portrayal of Joseph and Mary. At times I was moved to tears because of the deep emotions the two main characters evoked.

I particularly loved Joseph. The movie portrayed him as a gentle, merciful, and compassionate husband who only and always wanted to do what was right. His selflessness and gracious attitude never faltered. I love to see stories portray men in such a positive light. It's so rare these days.

I am accustomed to seeing portrayals of Mary as being a holy young lady, chosen by God because of her character, but this story seemed to imply that Joseph was one of the main reasons that God chose Mary. God would use Joseph to teach Jesus mercy, compassion, and zeal for God.

The movie had its flaws. Although I enjoyed the offbeat characters of the three magi, the story had them showing up at the stable, which seems impossible. It also had Joseph and Mary fleeing to Egypt directly from the stable, which didn't allow them to go to the temple where they would bring their sacrifice and meet Simeon and Anna. This, of course, is simply inaccurate. It's a shame that the makers of such a beautiful movie would choose to depart from history that way.

Overall, however, I thought The Nativity Story was terrific. I highly recommend it.


pam halter said...

Thanks for the review. I was wondering if this is something I could take my daughter to.

Becky said...

Bryan, the author of the screenplay, a Christian, did a phone interview with Dennis Raney of Family Life Today a couple weeks ago and mentioned the magi at the stable, acknowledging that his rendition differed from history, but because our culture expects to see the magi along with the shephereds, he felt it would be less jarring to the populace at large. I don't like his changing it. Why not re-educated the culture rather than reinforcing error? But I found it interesting that he made the decision knowingly.

Handling Biblical accounts is not easy.


Clefspeare said...


When I thought about it, I concluded that the writer was trying to explain the traditional "Nativity" scene, more like a history-laced fable than an actual attempt to report facts.

In that, the did a fine job, but, as you wrote, he probably reinforced error because most people in our society probably believe that this is similar to the biblical account.

I know it's hard handling biblical accounts. As you well know, I embellish Bible stories in "Eye of the Oracle" to the point that some might object, though I don't actually alter them as this movie did.

I began a story about the Magi over eight years ago. As you might expect, it has some fantasy elements in places where the Bible is silent, but it stays true to the story. I hope to find a publisher for it someday.