Unless they were willing to insert a scene of Elizabeth getting whipped for 10 minutes as an albino Satan lurks in the background, the producers of The Nativity were never going to drum up Passion-style box office numbers. But this has to help.
The film stars 16-year-old Keisha Castle-Hughes as the Virgin Mary. Castle-Hughes, an Academy Award nominee who rose to cinema fame in "Whale Rider", is a New Zealander who is pregnant and unmarried in real life and did not attend the premiere.
Vatican officials have denied reports that the Pope did not attend the premiere because of the unwed pregnancy controversy. They said he never planned to attend because he is 79 and resting ahead of a difficult trip to Turkey starting on Tuesday.
What no one's telling the press—rather unwisely, because this could be a fun controversy—is what, if any, role the pregnancy had in Castle-Hughes' decision not to come. But if anyone's aware of this Vatican bolting the doors when sinning celebrities try to enter, gimme an example; I can't think of a time that's happened recently.
(Via the House of Alt.)