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The Brand New Testament

  • Comedy
  • Drama
  • 2015
  • Jaco Van Dormael
  • 109 mins
  • 15

Summary

God secretly lives in Brussels, spending his time enacting spiteful punishments on the human race. His rebellious daughter tries to teach him a lesson by sending everyone on Earth a message containing the date of their death. As the world is plunged into chaos, she flees from her furious father - who gains a new insight into his creation. Comedy, starring Pili Groyne, Benoit Poelvoorde and Catherine Deneuve. In French and German.

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Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

As he demonstrated with Toto the Hero (1991) and The Eighth Day (1996), Belgian director Jaco Van Dormael has never been afraid to take risks. However, he struggles to build upon an inspired premise in this scattershot satire on faith and fanaticism in an increasingly secular world. Ea (Pili Groyne), the ten-year-old daughter of God (Benoît Poelvoorde), is so fed up with her dad tormenting humanity that she exposes the death date of everyone on Earth and then escapes into modern-day Brussels to gather her own sextet of disciples. Stirred from his ennui, the Almighty then ventures forth from his Belgian apartment, only to discover how cruel the world really is. Abetted by a bullish cast, ingenious production design and a fine effects team, the script careens between eccentric set pieces and provocative allusions. Yet, while they amuse, concepts like Catherine Deneuve's lonely housewife falling for a gorilla or a would-be serial killer conceiving a child lack a cutting edge, notwithstanding they were the respective subjects of Nagisa Oshima's Max Mon Amour and Jacques Demy's A Slightly Pregnant Man. Such movie references abound and Van Dormael can't be faulted for his ambition. But his corking idea never quite pays off.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Ea, God's daughterPili Groyne
GodBenoît Poelvoorde
MartineCatherine Deneuve
FrançoisFrançois Damiens
God's wifeYolande Moreau
AurélieLaura Verlinden
Jean-Claude, "JC"Didier de Neck
Jesus ChristDavid Murgia

Crew

rolename
DirectorJaco Van Dormael

Details

Theatrical distributor
Metrodome
Released on
2016-04-15
Language
German
Guidance
Swearing, sex scenes, nudity
Formats
Colour
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