The Virgin Mary at the Movies
From a Catholic Digest article
By Steven D. Greydanus
Mariano Rigillo as Simeon and Alissa Jung as the Virgin Mary in the presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple from Mary of Nazareth (2012).
Mary of Nazareth, now touring North America in isolated screenings hosted by Ignatius Press, is the latest in a number of Gospel films over the last couple of decades focusing in a special way on the role of the Blessed Virgin in the Gospel story. This development began in 1995 with another film named Mary of Nazareth, the final film of French director Jean Delannoy, best known to Catholic audiences for his 1988 film Bernadette.
In the 1999 TV movie Mary, Mother of Jesus Christian Bale (Batman Begins) played Jesus opposite Swedish actress Pernilla August (who that same year also played the mother of miracle child Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace!). Then came the 2006 film The Nativity Story, still the only major feature film to focus specifically on the infancy narratives.
In 2012, Mary of Nazareth debuted on Italian television as a two-part 200-minute miniseries produced by Lux Vide (Restless Heart; Clare and Francis). The film currently screening is a 153-minute recut of this miniseries.
While details differ among these presentations, recurring patterns appear …