Julie & I finally got to see The Nativity Story last week. We both thought it was well done. As expected it wasn't word for word from the gospel accounts, but it followed the story-line well enough that we didn't feel like it corrupted the gospel in any way.
The actors did an excellent job of bringing to life the emotions that must have been felt by Mary, Joseph and the other characters. I especially appreciated the silent response from Joseph when Mary returned from visiting Elizabeth now obviously pregnant.
Julie's favorite line in the film came when Joseph & Mary were leaving Nazareth on their way to Bethlehem. Their Nazarene neighbors watched them leave with ridiculing looks. Joseph gives Mary a sly smile and says, "They're going to miss us." How often do people look down on others without knowing the whole story.
What I took away from the film was a new appreciation for the hatred the Jews felt toward the tax collectors. After seeing how the tax collectors treated the people, which I think was accurately depicted, the fact that Jesus was criticized for associating with such people is understandable. And that Jesus would have one of them, Matthew, as a disciple must have been scandalous.
There were several places during the movie when I got goosebumps and was really moved spiritually. It's a film that every Christian and non-Christian should see.