December 19, 2006

Go See This Movie!

If you have some time this season, I highly recommend going to see The Nativity Story, a great film about the Reason for the season! I went with my friend Debi to see a Sunday matinee showing, and it was overwhelmingly good. I wouldn't suggest taking young children to see it, but otherwise it would be a great family movie for the holidays. I loved the glimpse into the Jewish culture during the time of Roman rule, and while obviously there was some conjecture involved--the Bible isn't terribly detailed, for example, about Joseph--the characterization and circumstances seemed credible in light of Scripture.

Two small complaints...spoiler warning, in case you don't know the story, ha! I was very disappointed that the shepherds weren't shown in awe of the splendid heavenly host, as the "heavenly host" consisted only of Gabriel announcing Christ's birth with no host shown in the skies. I think that would have been a powerful scene, and I'm not sure why the producers/directors didn't include it.

The other thing is more of a technicality: the Magi appear on the scene after the shepherds, worshipping Jesus at the stable. Matthew actually tells us that they came to the "house" and found the "child" (not baby), so most scholars believe that Joseph and Mary had had to stay in Bethlehem for a more extended period of time and that the Magi arrived awhile after Jesus's birth. Still, for cinematic reasons, I can see why they would appear together, particularly in light of Herod's paranoia that is shown so clearly, as the drama is heightened by the need to escape Herod's wrath.

All in all, though, this is a wonderful movie, and I would love to see it gain more acclaim--it's not touted much because of its content, I'm sure, so let's support it! Go see The Nativity Story! :-)

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