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The Brand New Testament (2015)

Le tout nouveau testament (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Fantasy | 1 September 2015 (Belgium)
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Did you know that God is alive and lives in Brussels with his daughter?

Director:

Jaco Van Dormael

Writers:

Thomas Gunzig (scenario), Jaco Van Dormael (scenario)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 14 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Pili Groyne Pili Groyne ... Ea
Benoît Poelvoorde ... Dieu
Catherine Deneuve ... Martine
François Damiens ... François
Yolande Moreau ... La femme de Dieu
Laura Verlinden ... Aurélie
Serge Larivière ... Marc
Didier De Neck Didier De Neck ... Jean-Claude
Marco Lorenzini Marco Lorenzini ... Victor
Romain Gelin Romain Gelin ... Willy
Anna Tenta ... Xenia, l'Allemande
Johan Heldenbergh ... Le prêtre
David Murgia ... Jésus Christ
Gaspard Pauwels Gaspard Pauwels ... Kevin
Bilal Aya Bilal Aya ... Philippe
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Storyline

God lives in human form as a cynical writer with his young opinionated daughter in present-day Brussels, Belgium. She concludes that her dad is doing a terrible job and decides to rewrite the world, descending to earth in search of her own 6 messengers to write a brand new testament and change the status quo.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

God lives! (...in Brussels) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Belgium | France | Luxembourg

Language:

French | German

Release Date:

1 September 2015 (Belgium) See more »

Also Known As:

El nuevo nuevo testamento See more »

Filming Locations:

Brussels, Belgium See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€8,555,500 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,812, 16 December 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$89,182, 6 January 2017

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$100,933, 15 January 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (HD)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The official Belgian submission for the 2016 Academy Awards. See more »

Goofs

Ea claims a number of times that she can't cry, yet earlier in the film she has tears under her eyes after her Dad had hit her with his belt. See more »

Quotes

Dieu: Law 1522:If one day you fall in love with a woman there's a great chance you will not spend your life with her.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are designed as though they are embroidered on fabric, with embroidered images on each side. See more »

Connections

References Dragon Eyes (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Aquarium
from "Le carnaval des animaux"
Written by Camille Saint-Saëns
Piano by Pascal Rogé and Cristina Ortiz
Performed by the London Sinfonietta, conducted by Charles Dutoit
See more »

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User Reviews

 
God is battered by one of his priest, in Brussels
13 February 2016 | by lasttimeisawSee all my reviews

Belgian director Jaco Van Dormael enjoys instant fame from his director debut TOTO THE HERO back in 1991, THE BRAND NEW TESTAMENT is technically his fifth feature-length film if one includes his hands-only experimental work KISS & CRY (2011), which also finds a niche in the movie, but for a more mainstream audience, it is the long-waited follow up to his cult fantasy MR. NOBODY 2009.

Judging by its name, this fantastic comedy blatantly satires the existence of God, who is played by Poelvoode in his crankiest temperament, a middle-aged man living in an apartment in Brussels, with his humble wife (Moreau), their daughter Ea (Groyne) and the absence of their son Jesus Christ (Murgia). God is testy, abusive to his wife and daughter, plays tricks to human beings through his omnipotent computer simply out of boredom. One day Ea is punished for sneaking into his office and realises what her father is doing in his office hour, she decides to play tit-for-tat, at first, she clandestinely sends the death countdown of everyone in Brussels from God's computer to everyone's cellphones, then crawls from the washing machine of their apartment to the real world for the first time and resolves to find 6 disciples (thanks to the instruction of J.C.), to write down a new testament, in order to save the world from being a plaything of the abominable God.

Can you buy this context? It is archetype of some less intelligent lifeforms try to envision a much profound scenario (which is in every respect out of their comprehension) with their own rather narrow knowledges, to entertain themselves, so its innate drawback is the bitter taste of self- consciousness with this paradoxical situations: in one hand, it is massively pleasing to dethrone our creator from his reverential pedal, and put him in our shoes and being ridiculed to the hilt (he is actually beaten by a priest at one time), but in the other hand, one tends to be disillusioned by this self-pleasing approach, even in our widest imagination, God is so earth-bound with human-friendly technology, and living conditions, too blasé to feel thrilled.

From the hardware department, this CGI-heavy picture looks pristine but artificial, but one cannot help but flashing a smile when sees Denueve's apostle Martine cuddling with a not-so-convincing gorilla, a knowing nod to Nagisa Oshima's MAX MON AMOUR (1986). And a revamped appendix where a Goddess to take over the power is self-pleasing to contradict the patriarchal system, but a female-friendly sky pattern or a walking with your pet fish under the sea, or swapping the gestation to male, only means something novel to experience, with no say to contend it is a better world. Still, it is a venturing project to tackle with those larger-than-life if not entirely zany propositions, most amusingly is the exposure of everyone's remaining time, turns out to be a goldmine to ridicule the vagaries of human behaviour.

The design of Ea's six disciples is to encourage ourselves to be more communicative, to open up instead of indulging in one's own propensities, and to pursue what our hearts really crave for (a repetitive troupe of a theme song for every soul). Newcomer Pili Groyne impresses with her cherubic and precocious attributes (but how come God has a daughter only ten years old? This is a minefield Dormael refuses to elucidate); supporting players are all bigger names in French- speaking cinema, but none of them is required to perform other than their characters' formulated quirks.

All in all, the intention behind Dormael's comedy is genial and it aims for distraction rather than religion-defiance, it is not a divine eye-opener like it advertises, but neither is a disappointing pap, it sits somewhere in between, quite comfortably.


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