I'm starting to get really excited about this film. My initial reaction was cautious, as I thought Mike Rich's script sounded like it could easily go awry in the wrong hands. But others were excited by the choice of Hardwicke, and although I'd not seen any of her films to get enthusiastic about in my own right, some of their excitement rubbed off on me at least a little bit.
The news about Keisha Castle-Hughes however, has really got me interested. I'm a big fan of Whale Rider the film which made her the youngest ever Oscar nominee for best actress. Although she's now a little bit older (15), she is still young enough to challenge the traditional image of Mary as a woman in her mid 20s (it's a good deal more likely that she was in her teens, possibly as young as 12 according to some scholars). Furthermore, although she is no more Jewish or Palestinian than I am, she at least looks more Middle Eastern than the vast majority of actresses to take the role, in sculpture, painting, or in film.
On top of this she has already produced one tremendous performance in a film that could easily have gone wrong with a different actress. And working with a director who has a reputation for gritty realism, but a writer who sounds like he is trying to work within the framework of the tradition story could produce explosive results.
Filming is going to commence in Morocco and Italy during May. Apparently, the aim is to get this ready in time for this Christmas.
Thanks to Peter Chattaway for the tip off.
Labels: Nativity - Mary Joseph