The Nativity Story

Covering the 2006 movie "The Nativity Story," about the story of Mary and Joseph
and their journey together as they bring the Messiah into the world.

~~One Family. One Journey. One child, who would change the world. Forever.~~

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

A script review of "Nativity"

Here is a thorough and honest review of "Nativity's" script by Stax.

Mike Rich is the scriptwriter for "Nativity," and he has talked about the film being from a character-driven point of view of the Nativity, rather than just being a series of events:

In January, Hardwicke had a stack of scripts on her desk, and she was trying to determine what film she'd like to do next. When she spotted Rich's script, she moved it to the top of the pile.

"The title caught my eye, so I decided to read that one first," she says. "I was amazed at how good it was. I remember thinking, This can't be that interesting. I had read the story in the Bible so many times, and the characters were so iconic. But Mike had gotten so inside the characters: 'What would it be like to be those people?'"

That's exactly what Rich was aiming for.

"The nativity is usually presented as an event-board story—this happened, then this happened, then this happened," he says. "It's rarely presented as a character story. That's how I wanted to do it."

I've read Rich's script, and it's faithful and reverent to the Gospel accounts, but also brings Joseph and Mary's characters alive in a very human way. They wrestle with fears and doubts and anxieties, all within the framework of unshakeable faith.

We meet their parents and families, even before they're betrothed to one another. We're there for the awkward moment when Mary's father tells his daughter that she will be Joseph's wife. We're there for Gabriel's visit, for Joseph's dream, for the journey to Bethlehem—and the gamut of emotions that each experiences, every step of the way.

We get to know Elizabeth and Zechariah. We hit the road with the three wise men—Balthasar, Gaspar, and Melchior. We meet shepherds, tending their flocks by night. We go into Herod's palace and see what a despicable, paranoid man he really is.

There are playful, humorous moments. There are tension-filled scenes. And there is love, especially as shown on the arduous trek to Bethlehem, in which Joseph's tender care for his betrothed begins to shine as brightly as a certain star that has appeared on the horizon.

It's a Bible story. But it's a human story too.

"When you grow up in church, it becomes an objectified story," says Godfrey, the co-producer. "It's never told from Joseph and Mary's perspective; it's a story told without much conflict.

"But what would it be like to be 14 years old and go through what she went through? What would it be like to be a man and have your betrothed come to you and say she's pregnant—not by another man, but as an act of God?"

Co-producer Marty Bowen also loves the way the characters have come to life.

"Growing up Catholic, I've always put Mary on a pedestal," he says. "She was beyond reproach, and we never took her off that pedestal. When you see a statue of Mary in a church, she's not real; she's plaster. We're trying to make her real.

"We want to portray her as a fairly normal girl becoming a young woman. We grow with her in this story; it's an extreme character arc. That's what I hope Catholics get out of this—to see Mary as a girl, not just a woman you can't relate to. And Catherine has done a good job making her identifiable."

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that you only saw Mary as a plaster statue and woman you can't relate to.

She is the Daughter of God the Father, Mother of the God the Son & Spouse of the Holy Spirit and that all generations shall call her blessed.

But she is a humble Mother and she is so full of love, a motherly love that brings you peace and unites us closer to Jesus, for Jesus came to us through her and she brings us closer to him. I hope the movie will show her love and her humility and special Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ for it was not like how you and I were born.

The Life of Mary As Seen By The Mystics
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Thursday, October 05, 2006 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger queen_spoo said...

I think that part of what those involved with this movie want is to bring these people to life and bring a greater understanding to their importance in the whole Salvation story.

Thursday, October 05, 2006 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Audrey said...

I'm eagerly waiting for this fantastic movie. One thing for sure, I'll be shedding lots of tears!

Saturday, November 18, 2006 12:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful effects and beautiful cinematography. Unfortunatley I must say that the storyline itself is non-existent at best. The rules of screenwriting clearly state that there must be a goal that our hero/main character is presented with. In this movie I have not seen it. It seems to me also that there is no prominent main character that the viewer can be attached to. Mary appears to be somewhat transparent and inaccesible. We are not shown any weeknesses that the characters have. Sure there is an issue with the scandal of mary's birth but it ends within ten minutes of its proposal. The viewer felt detached. On top of all of this, What IS THE GOAL? Is it to keep the baby alive? Is it to get to Bethlehem? Screenwriting is an art and a science. Within the first 10 minutes of the movie ACT I, the characters must be given a goal they are to accomplish or not. We do not see any such thing until ACT II. All in all, weak screenwriting, but fantastic imagery. (TO SEE A FULL SYNOPSIS OF THIS MOVIE AND MANY OTHERS VISIT web.mac.com/imtrying)

Saturday, September 22, 2007 12:50:00 PM  

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