Chapter & Verse

*`The Nativity Story' misses a chance to bring fresh insight to an ages-old tale

Review C+

December 01, 2006|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC

Bringing to the screen a story as familiar as that of Christ's birth requires an approach both deft and fearless. Without that deft touch, one risks offending the millions who regard this as Chapter 1 of the Greatest Story Ever Told. But one need be fearless as well and bring something new to the telling, thus giving audiences an incentive to see it.

Catherine Hardwicke's The Nativity Story offers little to offend, unless audiences are put off by the notion of using the Magi for comic relief. But other than portraying Mary as an overwhelmed teenager, mystified that God has chosen her to be the mother of his child, it doesn't offer anything that hasn't been playing out in grade-school pageants for decades.

The Nativity Story (New Line Cinema) Starring Keisha Castle-Hughes, Oscar Isaac. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke. Rated PG. Time 93 minutes.

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