Tis’ the Season. New Line decided to mine the Bible as Hollywood did back in the days of Cecil B. DeMille and has made the Nativity story into a movie this Christmas season. The story is one that inspires the faithful. Even if you’re not one of the faithful you have to agree that it is a story full of drama and worthy of a film.
You have the drama of the trek to Bethlehem by Mary and Joseph, the drama of the search of the Magi, the horror of Herod’s slaughter of the innocents, and the hope presented in a savior for the world. Mychael Danna’s score is a worthy accompaniment for such a drama.
He uses instruments that replicate what might’ve been a sound of the time period. He also uses voice to great effect. Though don’t expect to hear “Little Town of Bethlehem.” He does reference two songs that reminded me of what we’ve come to know as the Christmas season, “Veni, Veni Emanuel” and “Silens Nox (aka Silent Night).”
The rest of the compositiosn are obviously timed to coincide with actions on the screen with titles like “The Magi,” “Return of Mary,” and “The Shepherd’s Gift.” So I would imagine that those that have seen the movie will get more out of them when they have the film’s scenes to play mentally as the score plays. It was a very moving and well-made score.