I'd be interested to revisit it though, if only to see what Bale does with his part. As far as I recall he's actually only third in terms of amount of dialogue / screen time. The film's main focus is on Mary and just under half the film focusses, therefore, on Jesus' birth (starring Melinda Kinnaman as a young Mary), which obviously excludes Bale. The larger part of the film stars Pernilla August as Mary so Bale is more of a character in her story than vice versa. As I say, it's been a while since I saw this, so that may all be wrong; as may my distant memory that Kinnaman's section was passable (also featuring David Threlfall as Joseph), but August's part was very poor.
There's also one other interesting point of trivia in relation to this film: the same year that this film was released (1999), Pernilla August also starred in another film where she played a young virgin who somehow manages to conceive a son who is expected to be some kind of messiah. That film is somewhat better known, even if it's no more highly regarded - Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace.
Labels: Nativity - Mary Joseph