Didn’t The Passion of the Christ make this sort of sluggish, impersonal Biblical costume drama obsolete? The Nativity Story suffocates Scripture with the usual play-it-safe elements: pokey drama, tentative performances and a paint-by-verses script. The picture doesn’t blow the dust off those musty old costume dramas – it buries itself under just that sort of dustiness. A sullen Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider) plays Mary (I’ve seen more emotive Marys at preschool Christmas pageants), while promising director Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen) buckles under the pressure of the material. This panders to the Christian market that embraced The Passion, delivering a Christmas story that can be safely consumed (and eagerly paid for). Yet don’t mistake it for religious art. It’s a trinket.