Features Live Action Movies

The Brand New
(Le Tout Nouveau

Director – Jaco Van Dormael – 2015 – Belgium – Cert. 15 – 113m


Original UK release date 25/03/2016, cert.15, 113 mins

Review originally published in Third Way, read the full review here.

Showing on BFI Player from Thursday, July 20th, 2023

The idea of God being an utter bastard sounds theologically none too edifying, yet in the hands of Flemish director Jaco Van Dormael (Toto The Hero/1991, The Eighth Day/1996) that’s not the case. It’s whimsical in the same way as Ralph Richardson playing the Supreme Being bumbling around at the end of Time Bandits (Terry Gilliam, 1981) in a lounge lizard suit mumbling, “I think it has to do with free will, or something.”

Empty, present day Brussels replaces the Garden of Eden where Adam wanders around nude save for a black rectangular special effect covering his privates to meet Eve (her name tag) behind a deserted cafeteria counter. Much begatting extends their family. Grumpy old man God (Benoît Poelvoorde) writes rules for creation on his study computer, e.g. another queue always moves faster than the one you’re in. His son, as we know, went off to garner twelve disciples and four testaments.… Read the rest