“Downsizing” is coming off the one-two-three punch of Venice, Telluride, and TIFF, but the divisive reaction from critics is probably not what Paramount was expecting for such a highly-anticipated collaboration between Oscar nominees Alexander Payne and Matt Damon. Regardless, a new effort from Payne should be a must-see for any film lover, and the director is following is relatively low key “Nebraska” with a big-thinking science-fiction satire.
“Downsizing” is set in a world in which Norwegian scientists have discovered how to shrunk humans down to 5 inches tall, which becomes a possible solution to overpopulation. Realizing how much further money goes when living a smaller life, Damon’s Paul Safranek decides to undergo the procedure. But his decision sparks unforeseen adventures, especially after his wife, Audrey, changes her mind at the last second and doesn’t shrink. Kristen Wiig, Christoph Waltz, Neil Patrick Harris, and Laura Dern co-star.
“With a sneaky comic tone swerving between earnest compassion and snarky derision, a middle-aged protagonist chewed up by ennui, and a colorful array of character actors populating a kitsch-Americana setting, “Downsizing” has all the hallmarks of an Alexander Payne film,” IndieWire’s Ben Croll wrote in his B- review out of Venice.
Paramount will release “Downsizing” in theaters December 22. Watch the first official trailer below.