Friday, 20 December 2013

Movie review: Nativity 2

Donald Peterson and his wife are expecting their first child. Donald has just gotten a new teaching job at St. Bernadette's, but he doesn't know what he's in for... His new class is spoiled rotten by the slightly loony classroom assistant Mr. Poppy. He's led the children to believe they will compete in the yearly Song for Christmas competition, even though the school has no funds for it. As Christmas nears and Donald tries to bring order back in his class, he will find out just how determined Mr. Poppy and the children are!

I love to watch Christmas themed movies in December and as I love all things British, this movie showed up on my radar. I had watched and loved the first Nativity movie two years ago and now there was the added attraction of David Tennant as a main character!

With most Christmas movies being made in America, this British seasonal comedy immediately feels fresh and different. Not only do different Christmas traditions play a role, the movie is also less 'sugar-coated'. That's not to say Nativity 2 is not a very sweet movie with a darling ending which definitely ticks all the boxes in the 'Christmas feelings' category! The movie is quirky if there ever was one and the message feels natural.

What this movie is not is believable... The adventures the children and their teachers get into would land them in serious troubles in the 'real world'. Not to mention the huge plot-hole of having kids aged 4-12 in one and the same school class. Thus, before watching this, you will have to put your mind on hold and simply go along with the wild and mad adventure involving flying donkey's and swimming buses! When I did this, I could enjoy the fun and the heart of this movie. To stay in the British atmosphere, Nativity 2 is a bit like the carol Twelve Days of Christmas: absolutely bonkers, but great fun!

The acting is a strong point of this movie, with many familiar faces of British film and tv. Ofcourse there's David Tennant, who plays not just one, but two roles. It's great fun seeing him acting opposite himself! He puts all his quickness and great facial expressions, which Doctor Who fans no doubt remember, to good use in Nativity 2. Other great roles are for Joanna Page (Love Actually, Doctor Who 50th anniversary) and Jason Watkins (Little Dorrit). I found Marc Wootton a tad irritating as the over-the-top crazy Mr. Poppy, but this is just the role he's playing. You can't deny Wootton dives into his role with great enthusiasm!

Last but not least, as the movie deals with a singing competition, Nativity 2 has the advantage of having some great original Christmas music!

In short, if you want to add something totally different to your Christmas movie 'diet', Nativity 2 (or the first film for that matter!) is a great choice!

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