WHEN MARY MET JOSEPH--THE ROAD TRIP
In her movie Thirteen, director Catherine Hardwicke took a less-than-romantic look at the antics of adolescent girls. Now she's taking on another teen with a big secret in The Nativity Story. The film, which could also be called The Passion of the Christ: The Prequel, follows young Mary's life in Nazareth and her journey to Bethlehem with Joseph (OSCAR ISAAC). Taking the part of Mary--the key role, as any Christmas-pageant organizer can attest--is Keisha Castle-Hughes, 16, the New Zealander who swam to an Oscar nomination in 2002's Whale Rider. She has been "fearless, dazzling, an almost ageless spirit," says Hardwicke. Castle-Hughes gamely learned to milk goats, which, to the dismay of little kids everywhere, are played by real animals.