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The British comedy Nativity! is written by director Debbie Isitt but was also largely improvised. The film stars Martin Freeman in the role of Paul Maddens, a down and out primary school teacher who once had dreams of success as an actor or director but is stuck in his job with his aspirations left behind. Each year St. Bernadette's where he teaches competes with well-funded private school Oakmore to put on the best nativity play. In spite of his hatred of Christmas due to his girlfriend Jennifer dumping him on the holiday, the school's head teacher asks Paul to run this year's play.

Apprehensive, Paul takes on the task saddled with a new teaching assistant, inept Mr. Poppy, an adult man who is as juvenile as the rest of Paul's class. When speaking to an old drama school rival Paul lies and says Jennifer, a Hollywood producer now, will be turning St. Bernadette's play into a film. Poppy hears and excitedly spreads the news. The media picks up on it and Paul is forced to carry on with the lie.

Paul's students aren't especially talented and Paul seriously they can pull off the play successfully. With Poppy's help they create a unique play that allows each child to show off their personal abilities. As his confidence in the children grows he takes a trip to America to ask for Jennifer's help, only to learn that she is not a producer but a secretary.

When the head of the school learns about the lie she cancels the play and threatens to fire Paul. After going off on Mr. Poppy and disappointing his class, Paul decides to run the show anyway since the children worked so hard. In the midst of the surprisingly good play, a helicopter arrives with Jennifer and her boss, an actual producer. Paul and Jennifer reunite and the nativity play is deemed a success.

| 2009 | 1 hr 45 min | 6.4/10
Martin Freeman, Marc Wootton, Jason Watkins, Ashley Jensen
Mirrorball Films, BBC Films, Screen WM
Debbie Isitt
Produced By
Nick Jones
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Also directed by Debbie Isitt