Joseph was tasked with being the earthly father of Jesus, the Messiah, while Mary was chosen to be the biological mother of the Savior. However, they were just ordinary people who wanted to follow what the Lord wanted for them. They watched as Jesus grew up before their eyes, and they were also apparently preoccupied with the life of a random rabbi who was their friend.
Production Quality (2 points)
As a new Bible production, Joseph and Mary is mostly respectable. It’s clear that care was given to the authenticity of the production, even though the sets are somewhat limited and reused a lot. Nevertheless, props are appropriate, and the outdoor locations are great. This film checks all the typical boxes of good video quality, audio quality, and camera work. The soundtrack is adequate. The only other problem to raise is the choppy editing that poorly handles the large amount of content in this movie. But in the end, John Patus and the others at Leif Films are definitely improving over the years.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)
So you want to make a movie about Joseph and Mary, yet you decide to use at least half of the runtime depicting an otherwise interesting story about a fictional rabbi who shadowed Jesus in the Lord’s early years. This is a fine idea, but why not make the movie primarily about the rabbi? Joseph and Mary are almost supporting characters in this story. There is also unnecessary narration that hurts character development. The healthy construction of the characters is also hindered by the rapid passage of time that follows the same characters as they keep meeting in the same places over several time periods. There is also a tendency to hit the high points of the story rather than to settle down and let us get to know them as people. The stoic and overly formal dialogue certainly does not help. However, this film is an interesting perspective on the early years of Jesus through the eyes of a flawed and accessible character that is not Joseph or Mary. Yet this good idea is somewhat soured by the strange ending sequence that leaves the audience wandering what this movie is supposed to teach us. In the end, the Leif Films team is usually closed to good things, as evidenced in The Apostle Peter: Redemption, but they can’t seem to get there.
Acting Quality (1 point)
Unfortunately, there is not much good to say about the acting of this film. For one thing, it is very poorly cast and lacks authentic cultural cast members. Kevin Sorbo, a generic white guy, really has no business playing Joseph, besides the fact that he is awkward in this film. Rather than being too BRITISH, this cast is too American. The costuming is also somewhat cheesy, yet there are a handful of good moments that keep this section from being nothing.
Bible films are almost always problematic. If the production isn’t a problem, it’s the casting. If not that, then the plot suffers. There are so many variables that have to be aligned in a Biblical film; after all, they are historical accounts. Thus, they needed to be treated with more care. We can’t have any more of these Bible plays coming out because even Christian audiences are getting tired of that. We need dynamic authenticity, but perhaps the Leif Films team will keep trying and find the mark one day.
Final Rating: 4 out of 10 points