films seen
5
average score
3.10*
nationality
status
Alive and kicking
more info

Rare treats

Mr. Nobody

2009 / 141m - Belgium
Sci-fi, Romance
Mr. Nobody poster

There is plenty to love here. The film knows no weak points, has a strong heart and makes the 160 minutes seem like a short introduction to the main story.

The good stuff

The Brand New Testament

Le Tout Nouveau Testament
2015 / 114m - Belgium
Comedy, Fantasy
The Brand New Testament poster

A superbly fun and charming mix of comedy and fantasy. Van Dormael creates a world that thrives on an endless stream of ingenious little details. The execution is terrific, the acting exemplary. Just a smidgen too repetitive during the middle part, but don't let that hold you back, because there is so much to enjoy here.

Solid pieces

Toto the Hero

Toto le Héros
1991 / 91m - Belgium
Comedy, Drama
3.5*/5.0*
Toto the Hero poster

A rather dark and sullen drama, but executed with a lot of glee. What could've been a pretty depressive affair becomes a frivolous and joyous little film that charms from start to finish. Nicely directed, well acted and full of cheeky details. With a bit of extra visual polish this could've been a masterpiece, luckily van Dormael himself would fix that in his more recent work.

Worthy but flawed

The Eighth Day

Le Huitième Jour
1996 / 118m - Belgium
Comedy, Drama
2.5*/5.0*
The Eighth Day poster

Decent mix of drama and comedy, but the more straightforward execution of the story makes it the weakest of all van Dormael films. The film plays like a lesser version of Kikujiro, with some charming moments, but also quite a few misfires. Overall the drama just doesn't entice enough and the direction isn't as frivolous as it could've been.

Big nopes