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Running Time:
1 hour, 40 minutes

Rating: PG Parental Guidance Suggested.

Rating Explanation:
for some violent content.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
If you're looking for a family-friendly Christmas pageant come to life, you will be pleased with its with sincerity and good taste.

Additional Info:
No additional DVD features

The Nativity Story
This is a faithful filming of the story of the birth of Jesus as told in the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke and director Catherine Hardwicke has admirably recreated that world. Mary (Keisha Castle-Hughes “Whale Rider") actually looks like she’s around 15, which is what Mary was supposed to be when Jesus was born. Joseph (Oscar Isaac "All About the Benjamins") looks like he's in his early 20s, although we dont really know how old he was supposed to have been. The villages look like they must have looked 2,000 years ago and the poverty of the people is clearly depicted. And the stable in Bethlehem, where Jesus is born doesn’t quite look like what we see on Christmas Day, but is probably exactly the way it was, filled with sheep and no furniture, except the manger which becomes Jesus’ bed. Since we know virtually nothing about Mary’s life and parents, and even less about Joseph, scripter Mike Rich has created a story that fills in those portions of the story that we don't know. Mary and Joseph and everyone else appear to be real people, not cardboard saints, but just simple people struggling to make it through their difficult life, even after those extraordinary events start to occur. Ciaran Hinds ("Veronica Guerin") plays Herod, the ruler who is so worried about rumors of the birth of the Messiah that he has 40 little boys in Bethlehem 2 years-old and under killed; and Oscar-nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo ("House of Sand and Fog") plays Mary's cousin Elizabeth.

Those familiar with the story will be pleased to find that Hollywood has treated it with respect and not changed what we know or have read and has only amplified what we don’t know with intelligent reverence.

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