: Please be better than The Nativity Story.
I have to say, my hopes are not very high in that department.
I very much appreciated The Nativity Story
's quest for authenticity, in the casting of a teenaged girl as Mary and in the casting of an "ethnically accurate (or as accurate-seeming as possible)" set of actors in all the major roles. But any movie that casts Peter O'Toole and Jessica Lange as Simeon and Anna is clearly NOT interested in that kind of "authenticity".
And the fact that Camilla Belle is already 22 (and will be 23 when the film comes out next year) is kind of a stroke against the film, as well. Mary has been played by older actresses in the past
, but usually, in those cases, the actress in question was playing Mary at BOTH ends of Jesus' life and not just at the beginning, so I guess you have to allow for some leeway there. Of those actresses who were playing the young Mary ONLY, and whose ages I have been able to verify, we have:
- Ben-Hur (Dec 1925) -- Betty Bronson, 19 (b. November 17 1906)
- The Nativity (Dec 1978) -- Madeleine Stowe, 20 (August 18 1958)
- Mary and Joseph: A Story of Faith (Dec 1979) -- Blanche Baker, 22 (December 20 1956)
- Je vous salue, Marie (Jan 1985) -- Myriem Roussel, 22 (February 26 1962)
- Mary, Mother of Jesus (Nov 1999) -- Melinda Kinnaman, 28 (November 9 1971)
- The Nativity Story (Dec 2006) -- Keisha Castle-Hughes, 16 (March 24 1990)
So all of these young-Mary-only actresses were younger at the premieres of their films than Belle will be at the premiere of hers, with the single exception of Kinnaman ... but in her case, she was 28 and the actress who took over as the old Mary was 41, even though the character was supposed to be over 30 years older by that point in the film (or 25 years older, since that was the age of Christian Bale when he played Jesus in that film). So the age thing was kind of wonky in that film to begin with. In any case, that was only a TV-movie, and probably not one of the better-respected Jesus movies out there to begin with.
So. Anyway. This is beginning to smell like a straight-to-DVD kind of thing, to me. But I would love to be very, very wrong about that.