In some alternate universe long long ago, first century Judea looked like Europe and the Jews lived in European-style houses with glass windows. All the Jews were of European descent and sported cockney accents. The families of Joseph and Mary had enough money to throw parties and to eat fine food. Everybody wore those ridiculous outfits you see in cheesy church plays and even had some makeup. The only non-white people in their sphere were Hispanic shepherds (is this a subtle message for modern race relations?) and those Asian and African guys known as Magi. Mary had creepy conversations with British angel guys and she and Joseph sometimes acted like a dysfunctional American couple. The BBC historian’s personal favourite (haha) was that psychic gypsy that served as Mary’s midwife. If you think all of this is a complete joke, you’re wrong and need to be educated by BBC, who knows far more about what really happened in the Bible than you do. Or you can just watch this horrid viewing experience for yourself and see that I am not making any of this up. Like seriously, this got approved. And no, this is a not a plot summary. This is a rant because I wanted it to be, kthxbye.
Production Quality (-2 points)
Did we mention that nothing about this miniseries-turned-movie is even remotely accurate to history? Those BBC guys weren’t even trying when they put Mary in a house with glass windows. With glass! In first century Judea! In fact, all of the sets are totally inaccurate to history. The camera work and stuff like that aren’t even really that good, but they are so overshadowed by the complete and utter nonsense spewed by the remainder of this film that it doesn’t really matter. I hate this film so bad that I gave it negative points, mostly for total disregard of reality. So sue me if you think this isn’t a real review.
Plot and Storyline Quality (-2 points)
Since when were Mary’s parents rich enough to throw even a moderate dinner party? Since when did first century Jews have dinner parties that resembled the semi-modern Western world? There is an infinite list of pertinent questions I could ask about this film. What’s with the grinding planets? Why does the Magi subplot seem like a cross between Lord of the Rings, Aladdin, and the Magi subplot from that better Nativity movie with a similar title? Why does Mary constantly talk about being ‘bathed in light’? What is the purpose of the Hispanic shepherd subplot? Why do Mary and Joseph have emotionally unstable fights like a dysfunctional American couple? Why does Mary’s invented midwife resemble a psychic? And finally, why did BBC even make this movie? From histrionic dialogue to historically inaccurate storylines, there are no redeeming qualities to this film and it is downright offensive.
Acting Quality (-2 points)
Screaming matches, British voices, useless conversations, oh my! There are too many actors and actresses in this movie that I recognize from way better BBC movies, like ones that are based on those books that depict the fictional yet realistic lives of actual British characters in the 19th and 20th centuries. We don’t have to sit here and take this garbage. First-century Romans and Judeans were not remotely European. The Europeans actually were the ‘bad guys’ back then, or something like that. You’re welcome for the history lesson.
Some may criticize me for being so hard on this film, but seriously, if anyone else besides BBC tried to make a historical film and made it so grossly inaccurate as this one did, they would be out of a filmmaking job forever. They would be discredited and ridiculed, kind of like what I’m doing in this review. It’s downright offensive to totally alter historical accounts for the sake of convenience, thus a negative score is warranted. So if you’re looking for that perfect holiday film for the whole family to enjoy, unless you like out-of-touch unrealistic portrayals of historical figures, steer clear from this one.
Final Rating: -6 out of 10 points