Synopsis: (From IMDB) A young teen living with his grandparents falls asleep at church during a Christmastime mass, where he dreams of a black nativity.
Why it could succeed: I don’t know much about the original play/musical but it has a following, and a following is enough for a movie to succeed, at least in the box office. While it has a strong cast attached, the Academy doesn’t normally open up to the Nativity story and neither do most audiences. We know the story already, why do we need to watch it on film, yet again? Alas, this film has a twist; it’s a musical which means it could be more entertaining and lend itself to a wider audience. I can’t say much about the success of this film until there’s at least a trailer. Forest Whitaker, who has several films coming in 2013, Jennifer Hudson, and Angela Bassett keeps the film in promise.
Why it could fail: The Nativity story has been done before and it’s failed to bring in an audience. We all know the story, but is it a story that translates well onto screen? And will a dramatic musical bring in an audience or even a fresh perspective? Just because it’s some new outlook on an already done story doesn’t mean the film will necessarily succeed. Take Les Miserables for instance, while the stage show is better known, the musical didn’t translate well on-screen, at least for some people. I believe the only reason the film had so much success within the Academy was because of the cast and director. Black Nativity doesn’t have a well-known writer/director and the cast may be strong, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be a success or an Oscar contender. Honestly, on paper at least, it seems like a straight to DVD type of movie.
With the very little I know about the original play, all I can go on is the cast when I consider this film for any type of awards. I can’t see a film like this even getting Academy attention, but for the sake of this article:
Best Actor- Forest Whitaker
Best Actress- Angela Bassett
Best Supporting Actress- Jennifer Hudson