Jaco Van Dormael’s silly whimsy, “The Brand New Testament” (Le tout nouveau testament), messes with heresy but winds up with a fistful of giddy laughs. God is not dead: he’s a mean sonofabitch obsessed with playing petty pranks on humanity who live in a Brussels high-rise, mean to his wife, estranged from his only begotten son and father to a pissed-off ten-year-old daughter who takes the world’s matters into her own hands one day. After texting the date of death to everyone on the planet, she runs away (via a washing machine) with a grab-bag of lunatic “disciples.” Nutty gags—a couple Terry Gilliam-worthy—and crisp comic timing allow the boisterous tone to rise above the machinations of a busy plot. With Benoît Poelvoorde (“Man Bites Dog”) as “Dieu,” Yolande Moreau and Catherine Deneuve. 112m. (Ray Pride)
“The Brand New Testament” opens Friday, December 16 at the Music Box.