23 November 2002 | srritenour
Intriguing Modern Retelling of the Nativity Story
John Hamilton has produced one of the most original versions of the Christian Nativity story in quite some time. Hamilton begins with the premise, "What if we were still waiting for Christmas?" and he succeeds in making a film that is by turns heart warming, heart wrenching, and, finally, joyous.
By setting the biblical account of Mary and Joseph in contemporary New York, Mr. Hamilton confronts his audience with the news of the impossible. The film begins with Mary being told by her doctor that her pregnancy test came back positive, a fact she finds incredible because she is a virgin. Through watching how the parents, friends, and neighbors of Mary and Joe react to this unmarried pregnant high school senior, and how Mary and Joe deal with this reality personally, we are given the opportunity to evaluate our own reactions to such a claim.
Outstanding performances include Erin Bridges as Mary, Linda Levine as Anne Rosenblum (Mary's mother), and Josh Gad as the Angel.
The writer and director of Mary and Joe is obviously no skeptic, but he is no peddler of evangelical kitsch either. John Hamilton has produced a serious though not stuffy film examining the miracle of the Incarnation.