Starring: Simon Lipkin, Craig Revel Horwood, Daniel Boys, Helen George, Celia Imrie, Ruth Jones, Hugh Dennis, Jessica Hynes, Meera Syal
Director: Debbie Isitt
Release date: 23rd November 2018
Jerry Poppy (Simon Lipkin) is looking for his brother, Desmond, who used to be the Teaching Assistant in St Bernadette’s School in Coventry. On his long journey he befriends a stray dog and on arrival at the school, he gets the news he was dreading. Desmond and his Auntie Pat have gone off to Australia to start a new life, and the news leaves Jerry devastated. Everyone is talking about the ‘Christmas town of the year Competition’ and Coventry is desperate to win it. The school wants to enter into the contest, but there are others that think they can do much better. A lonely boy named Barnaby is desperate to have a normal Christmas with his parents but they are both so engrossed in their work that they hardly realise he is there. Jerry is determined to help the school win the competition and give Barnaby the Christmas he deserves.
This is the fourth ‘Nativity’ movie and the first without the comic genius of Marc Wooton as Desmond Poppy. The previous three movies all fitted together very smoothly and each one benefitted from a big star name; David Tennant, Martin Clunes, Martin Freeman. Marc Wooton was the glue that held everything together but he is noticeably absent from this latest movie. There’s always a bit of a buzz around the release of a new ‘Nativity’ movie and kids are going to love it but there just seems to be a big hole where Marc should be. Simon Lipkin is great as Jerry and can really sing but the chemistry just isn’t there. Even the class of school kids.. in the past three movies; we saw the class grow up and fell in love with characters like Bob, who did over-exaggerated Michael Jackson dance moves whenever he could. In the new film it’s a whole new class of characters. They’re still pretty quirky but it’s just not the same.
If you loved the first three movies, then do give this new one a chance. It still has all the enthusiasm, Christmas spirit and songs that the others had and the kids are going to enjoy it too.
If you’re looking to kick start your kids’ Christmas, then take them along to see this.