Just a quick shot before I head to work. Amy and I saw the Nativity Story the other night. Amy really enjoyed it for what it was with little comment, but I'm much more inclined to criticise so here I go.
First of all, the movie portrays Mary as a little rebellious in certain scenes. For instance, when Mary is told she will be marrying Joseph, she runs away and cries. Although Mary would have been very young, I do not think Mary to have been the type to run away from her parents pouting. The portrayal of Mary seems to be, atleast as its scripted, very protestant. Also, at the annunciation, you can barely here the angel call Mary. I never did catch whether he said "Hail, Full of Grace," or "Hail, Highly Favored One." It would be nice to rewatch it just to look for that.
While I'm talking about the angel, why did he look like a throw back Dr. J in robes? Seriously, I think they could have done better to make the messenger of God a point of light or something. Also, why did he have to turn into a hawk? That might be a little weird for the kids.
The next target of my criticism is the handling of Mary's parents. Even if you don't read "The Poem of the Man-God" as from a mystic, I think it has a better handle on Sts. Anne and Joachim. I don't think they would be quite so gruff or rough on Mary.
When I went to see the Nativity Story, I expected to watch a movie about the Nativity, not "The Great Escape: The Prequel." I can understand a little drama, but did Mary have to fall off the donkey into the river? I assume the snake that scared the donkey was supposed to be symbolic. Sorry if that was a spoiler by the way.
The movie was not all bad though. I think with a little help it could have been better. Good or not, I liked the humorous wise men. They got the theater (all St. Mary's parishoners) rolling. For adults, I'd say go ahead and see it. Kids on the other hand, I would wait. I am not going to recommend to my mom that she take the little ones to see it, I think it may give them false impressions of Mary, a little confusing right on the heals of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
The actors and actresses were very good I thought. The sets I also enjoyed, its good to remember what times were like, and to remember how good we have it.
If you see, it enjoy. If you don't see it, don't lose sleep over it.