Variety magazine needs a fact-checker.

Variety has posted Todd McCarthy’s review of The Nativity Story, and the first sentences give you a sense of where he’s going:

Memories of dreary Sunday school classes come flooding back courtesy of “The Nativity Story.” Earnestly Hallmark-worthy to a fault, this stodgy addition to the cinematic religious revival gravy train offers only a bit of Year One location realism to distinguish it from films of its kind made in the ’50s and early ’60s, though at least then it might have had the advantage of a score by the likes of Miklos Rozsa, Franz Waxman or Alfred Newman. . . .

Along the way, McCarthy makes two errors in a single sentence:

Inspired by Matthew, screenplay foreshadows Mary’s immaculate conception with the surprise pregnancy of her cousin Elizabeth (Shohreh Aghdashloo), a woman past childbearing years.

Actually, Elizabeth’s story is told in Luke, not Matthew. And the “immaculate conception” is a Catholic doctrine referring to the conception of Mary without the “stain of original sin”, and has nothing directly to do with the virginal conception of Jesus.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17622574837838018733 Gerald Augustinus

    Great reporting


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