Christianity Today‘s David Neff, in the new issue:

“This film … runs from the horror [of Herod’s bloodshed] and quickly reverts into Silent Night”-happy ending mode. The shift from the realism of Mary and Joseph’s life in Nazareth to the romantic iconography of the Nativity scene seems to be a surrender to the romantic structrure of the plot. The gritty reality of village life in first-century Palestine is abandoned in favor of Christmas-card sentimentality, with wise men, shepherds, animals, and the holy family posing as if they were ceramic figurines on your mantelpiece. … The Nativity Story is not boldly realistic like The Passion of the Christ.

UPDATE: Here’s the link to the whole article, which is, in fact, a very positive review.

I posted this excerpt because Neff’s point here seems to contrast with others that I’ve read that argue that the film is authentic and realistic beginning to end, down to the smallest detail.

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