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Nativity! (2009)

1:58 | Trailer
An uptight but secretly heartbroken primary school teacher's little white lie about Hollywood coming to see his class' nativity play grows like wildfire in his rag-tag school low on self-esteem.


Debbie Isitt


Debbie Isitt (screenplay)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Martin Freeman ... Paul Maddens
Marc Wootton ... Mr. Poppy
Jason Watkins ... Gordon Shakespeare
Ashley Jensen ... Jennifer Lore
Pam Ferris ... Mrs. Bevan
Alan Carr ... The Critic
Ricky Tomlinson ... Mayor
Rosie Cavaliero ... Miss Rye
John Sessions ... Mr. Lore
Phyllis Logan ... Mrs. Lore
Clarke Peters ... Studio Boss
Geoffrey Hutchings Geoffrey Hutchings ... Father Tom
Matt Rippy ... Harrison
Rhydian Jones ... Studio Receptionist
Selina Cadell ... Oakmoor Headmistress


This Christmas, primary school teacher Paul Maddens is charged with producing the school's nativity play. Competing against the posh rival school for the honor of best reviewed show in town, the stakes are raised when Paul idly boasts that his ex-girlfriend Jennifer, a Hollywood Producer, is coming to see his show with a view to turning it into a film. The only trouble is - they haven't spoken in years. With eccentric assistant Mr Poppy fuelling his 'little white lie', Maddens suddenly finds himself a local celebrity and at the center of quarreling parents and over-excited children desperate in their bid for fame and fortune. Maddens' only hope is to get back in touch with Jennifer and lure Hollywood to town so that everybody's Christmas wishes come true. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief language and mild rude humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

27 November 2009 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Weihnachtsmuffel See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£794,314 (United Kingdom), 29 November 2009, Limited Release
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Most of the film is improvised, with the producers telling the actors what would happen in the scene, and the actors acting it out, with no script. See more »


Saffron mentions that she is allergic to donkeys, but later on during the performance she is on the stage right next to a donkey and seems fine. See more »

Crazy Credits

End-credits dedication: "This film is dedicated to inspirational teachers everywhere." See more »


Featured in This Morning: Episode dated 19 November 2009 (2009) See more »


You Make me Feel (Mighty Real)
Written by Sylvester (as James Sylvester) and James Wirrick
Performed by Thomas McGaritty
See more »

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User Reviews

My new favourite Christmas film!
24 December 2011 | by asda-manSee all my reviews

Part of Nativity's charm is that it looks like an average TV drama, especially initially with its TV actors and production values, but as the film goes on you start to realise that this is so much better than a TV comedy drama Christmas special on BBC2. "Nativity!" is a Christmas classic, it's something adults and children can equally find funny with it's charming characters and uplifting spirit.

Martin Freeman plays a likably grumpy teacher who doesn't think much to Christmas after his girlfriend left him to be a Hollywood producer on Christmas day. Enter the star of the show Mr.Poppy! The amazingly hilarious dim-witted teaching assistant who plays a classic comedy character who you can't help but love. Mr.Shakespeare is also a brilliant panto villain who leads his fairly accurate, if not belated, private school to win 5 star reviews. That is until Mr.Poppy blurts out to everyone Martin Freeman's lie that a Hollywood producer is coming to film their pathetic attempt of a nativity.

From here on it's a fight to put on the best nativity play the world has ever seen and try to attract Hollywood to come and see them. "Nativity!" is so sickly you need a bucket ready at the end of the film, as you're stomach starts to dance around. But is also so amazingly uplifting that you can't help but love it! It's completely over the top nonsense with plenty of "as if!" moments but that's all part of the charm. Alan Carr also plays a brilliant nativity critic.

You'll be lucky to find a more jolly, funny and charming Christmas film than this. It's brilliant British comedy with a fantastic cast that will have you howling with laughter. The final 20 minutes feature incredibly catchy songs and hundreds of health and safety knock-outs. Some might say that it gets a bit too much, but for me it was pure charming escapism. "Nativity!" isn't perfect but I think that's the message of the film, nothing's perfect, just take things for what they are.

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