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. . . .
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.