New ‘Black Nativity’ Trailer: A Musical Christmas Tale of Forgiveness

Published 10 months ago by , Updated September 26th, 2013 at 5:50 pm,

Musical movies have, with increasing frequency, begun to release around either Thanksgiving or the Winter Holiday frame over the past decade (see: Phantom of the Opera, Rent, Sweeney ToddLes Misérables), perhaps in part because the films that belong to that genre tend to also be ones with cross-over appeal – and thus, bring in a greater variety of moviegoers (in terms of age and background), as they offer something different for each member of the family to appreciate when you’re all spending time together.

The upcoming Black Nativity – arriving near the end of November (case in point) – comes equipped with a family-friendly PG Rating and good old-fashioned lessons about forgiveness and spiritual healing at Christmas time (i.e. things that make it ideal for viewing with relatives, young and old). However, it remains to be seen how large the turnout will be for this particular musical, since movies which feature a primarily black cast (like Black Nativity) still tend to be under-seen by the larger moviegoing public (as a general rule, anyway).

Black Nativity stars R&B recording artist/actor Jacob Latimore (Maze Runner) as Langston, a teen from Baltimore who is sent to New York by his struggling single mother (Jennifer Hudson) to spend Christmas with his estranged relatives (Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett) – both being far more religious than Langston. Is there a chance that Langston and his elders can help to mend the shattered bonds of their family, by learning to appreciate each other’s personal worth? (Spoiler: yup.)

black nativity jennifer hudson jacob latimore New Black Nativity Trailer: A Musical Christmas Tale of Forgiveness

Black Nativity writer/director Kasi Lemmons – who adapted cultural icon Langston Hughes’ stage musical for the film adaptation – is generally regarded as being an under-rated filmmaker, despite well-respected titles like Eve’s Bayou and Talk to Me under her belt (in addition to the more divisive Caveman’s Valentine, featuring one of SLJ’s best hairstyles) – none of which were huge box office success stories, mind you.

As such, it shouldn’t be difficult for Black Nativity to become Lemmons’ highest-grossing release to date (given the cast involved and built-in musical appeal). But, will the film – especially should it be well-received critically – join the list of 21st-century musicals that’ve found a mainstream audience? Probably not, sadly, but it ought to have no trouble keeping the musical end-of-year tradition alive, before we get two big crowd-pleasing additions in 2014: the new screen version of Annie (featuring a mostly black cast) and Disney’s take on Stephen Sondheim’s fairy tale mashup romp, Into the Woods.

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Black Nativity opens in theaters on November 27th, 2013.

Source: Yahoo! Movies

TAGS: Black Nativity

8 Comments

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  1. Hmmmm….

  2. How this cannot be titled “Blacktivity” is beyond me. If you are going with the laziest racial naming convention that even the comics abandoned 40 years ago, you might as well go full exploitation with it.

    • That’s being reserved for the horror spin-off “Paranormal Blacktivity”, set in Harlem and featuring a black ghost for the first time in history.

      Followed by the musical “Latinoklahoma!”, a modern retelling of the classic musical featuring musical numbers adapted for the Latin American audience.

  3. So, does this mean we rename the other one ‘white nativity’?? Encouraging racism like this is Hollywood all over….

    • I wouldn’t say it’s racism, just short-sighted execs and writers thinking that having a stereotypical “black cast in a traditional story” will appeal to the R&B crowd, which is utterly silly. Especially considering they already have “This Christmas” (starring Idris Elba and Chris Brown) to fill that gap in the market.

      It’s like someone sat down and thought “I know what my culture needs!” and someone approved it while rubber-stamping random crap without looking to see if the projects are any good.

      I just find it odd how we get all black casts for movies in this day and age. Why pigeonhole your movie that way?

  4. This is the kind of movie I run away from. And the kind of movie that makes me throw up.

  5. The title alone will turn many people away and some will cry “racist” before they havean inkling of what the true story is. I think they’d have better success if they find a different, non-melatonin-focused title. But I guess if it’s based on a stage play of the same name, they are hoping to reach those who are already fans. Still, I think that’s a mistake.

  6. Oh finally a movie where there is no racial hatred, AND doesn’t degrade one another.

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