Religious experience

'Nativity Story' premieres at AMPAS

Two days after the first Vatican City preem, with 8,000 in attendance, New Line opted for a more traditional screening for the U.S. debut of “The Nativity Story” on Tuesday at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Event, which benefited Habitat for Humanity, capped three weeks of tub-thumping for the multicultural cast following the summer shoot in Italy and Morocco. Iranian native Shoreh Aghdashloo recalled, “There was a great reaction — oooooooh — at the Vatican when it was mentioned that a Muslim actress was playing Elizabeth.”

“I’d never left the United States, and there I was in Rome with hundreds of nuns asking for my autograph,” said Oscar Isaac, who portrayed Joseph in his frosh bigscreen role.

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