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Film / The Brand New Testament

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God exists. He lives in Brussels. He is a scoundrel.

Le Tout Nouveau Testament ("The Brand New Testament") is a Belgian-Luxembourger-French fantasy comedy movie by Jaco Van Dormael (Mr. Nobody) released in 2015.

The premise is that God (Benoît Poelvoorde) lives in Brussels and is a bitter, mean supreme being that spends most of his days terrorizing his wife (Yolande Moreau) and his daughter Ea (Pili Groyne) and otherwise inventing new ways of making the life of humans miserable.

This changes after one day, Ea sneaks into his office and sends to every human a text that reveals the exact moment of their death. She then proceeds to flee her home (through a washing machine) to gather her apostles and announce her Gospel (just like her big brother JC did).

Catherine Deneuve and François Damiens also star as Ea's apostles.

Tropes used:

  • An Arm and a Leg: Aurélie, Ea's first apostle, is an unhappy woman that lost her arm in an accident. She now lives a reclusive life because she is convinced that nobody will love her.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Martine's character arc is to get rid of her loveless, bourgeois married life.
  • Bedroom Adultery Scene: Martine gets caught by her husband. He is understandably less baffled by the adultery than by the fact she is in bed with a gorilla.
    "Martine: Oh, you are already home?"
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: The fifth apostle, Martine falls in love with a gorilla (it is reciprocal).
  • Chekhov's Gun: God's wife love of baseball. When Ea's apostle number grows to 18 (the number of players in a baseball match), it prompts her to take charge of the creation.
  • Domestic Abuse: God spends his time tormenting his family when he does not torment humanity.
  • Easy Sex Change: Willy, Ea's sixth apostle. After discovering that he/she only has a few weeks left to live, he/she decides to live them as a girl.
  • God Is Evil: God is a mean bastard that abuses his family and spends his days tormenting humans life by manipulating reality in ways that range from the petty to evil.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Doubles as Laser-Guided Karma. God ends up at the mercy of the very world that he created to torment humans, and it doesn't look as though he'll be escaping any time soon.
  • Humiliation Conga: Upon entering the world he created, God is humiliated and beaten up several times by several different people.
  • Jesus Was Way Cool: 'JC' was a genuinely great divinity and is now inspiring his little sister.
  • Like You Were Dying: Learning the exact date of their death leads people to be more open about what they want and more willing to achieve it, particularly if they don't have much time left. For example, Martine decides to break out of her dull marriage and have an affair, while Willy lives the rest of his days as a girl.
  • Mother Nature: God's wife has shades of this. She is a benevolent, if simple, divinity that loves flowers and baseball.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Ea's apostles who are all unhappy with their life at the beginning. Through Ea's miracles, they all get better lives.
  • Torment by Annoyance: God regularly creates new petty laws of Universal Annoyance to torment humans.
    "Law 2126: You will only break dishes after washing them"
    "Law 2128: When you immerse a body in bath, the phone rings"
    "Law 2129: The other line is always moving faster"
  • Tempting Fate: Kevin. After discovering that he will live for 62 years, he keeps making online videos of him jumping from heights and getting his life saved by increasingly improbable events.
  • Trauma Conga Line: God deliberately puts as many members of the human race through this as possible. And then he ends up going through one himself; having the stuffing kicked out of him multiple times, getting deported, almost dying twice, getting locked out of his own home and being reduced to repairing washing machines for all eternity.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: The basic premise. Ea reveals to every human the date of their death, upsetting the whole creation that her father designed to torture humans by liberating them from the fear of death.