Jaco van Dormael’s return to the Directors’ Fortnight was the one everyone secretly hoped for: a triumphant return, as he explains Le Parisien The audience laughed out loud and gave the Belgian filmmaker a standing ovation, recalling the triumph reserved for Guillaume Gallienne’s “Les Garçons et Guillaume, à table!”, unveiled two years ago at the same venue.
When we remember the career of this film, we start to dream…
All those who attended one of the two Cannes screenings came out happy to have discovered a crazy, funny and touching film. For the second time in three weeks (after Tous les chats sont gris), the cinephile feathers of the French-speaking press also got carried away, in unison with an enthusiasm that went far beyond the small Belgian community present in Cannes.
“The combined universes of Thomas Gunzig and Jaco Van Dormael hit the nail on the head”, confirms Fabienne Bradfer in the pages of Le Soir . “With these two, no question of genuflection but a hellish pace where ideas fly to bring us back to the absurdity of our lives passing far too often by the greatest of God’s commandments but also Jaco’s: love one another and above all take the time.”
“Launched at a crazy pace, the film never decelerates”, Fernand Denis enthuses in La Libre . “It’s a whirlwind of ideas, inventions and situations – with an added bonus for the people of Brussels who discover their city as they don’t see it. Cinema is a magical art, you can do anything, this is obviously Jaco’s conviction. What sometimes threatened his cinema was not his imagination, his virtuosity, but perhaps his deep humanity, not much appreciated by the cinema.”
“The Brand New Testament” is more about fantasy than metaphysics, and that’s what makes the film very jubilant,” explains Hugues Dayez on the TXT WEBSITE to justify his enthusiasm. “The heterogeneous aspect of the casting – with Benoît Poelvoorde, François Damiens but also Catherine Deneuve – reinforces its playful power. These reunions with Jaco are totally delightful. The Cannes public was not mistaken, it celebrated him.
“Jaco Van Dormael’s new film is totally crazy but frankly awesome.” Concludes Deborah Laurent on the site of 7/7 . “In addition to the incredible actors (Benoît Poelvoorde, Yolande Moreau, Pili Groyne, Catherine Deneuve, François Damiens), “The Brand New Testament” is full of crazy absurdities, great finds, poetry, Belgian humor. One can be proud to be so when seeing it. Cannes was not mistaken: the first Cannes screening ended with a thunderous applause.
To see the film in Belgium, you will have to wait a few months. Yes, it’s long and annoying. But the reward will be even greater.