Favorite

Review: Downsizing 

click to enlarge down.jpg


DOWNSIZING

***

DIRECTED BY Alexander Payne

STARS Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig


The latest effort from the team of writer-director Alexander Payne and writer Jim Taylor (the Oscar-winning scribes behind Sideways), Downsizing initially feels like a gimmick more than a movie. The downsizing in the title is meant to be taken literally — as overpopulation threatens to irreparably damage the planet, a brilliant scientist (Rolf Lassgard) invents a way to shrink people.

This discovery spurs thousands of ordinary citizens to allow themselves to be miniaturized, all in an effort to preserve Earth’s natural resources, reduce rampant pollution, and other environmentally friendly innovations.

Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) is one such regular guy who decides to check out this alternate lifestyle, yet as the movie progresses, its unique angle seems to recede into the background, with much of the focus on Paul’s daily woes. These include unhappiness at home, dissatisfaction on the job — in short, the sorts of travails that affect everyone, not just people reduced to the size of an iPhone.

Downsizing continues in an almost lackadaisical fashion, but then something remarkable and transformative happens: Hong Chau shows up. The Thai actress (most recently seen on HBO’s Big Little Lies) plays Ngoc Lan Tran, a Vietnamese activist who was shrunk against her will and now serves as a maid for rich people.

Chau’s performance is superb — second only to Willem Dafoe’s turn in The Florida Project as 2017’s best — and she roots the movie in emotions that heretofore had largely been missing.

Eventually, Downsizing heads off in yet another direction, but it scarcely matters. Chau’s towering turn guarantees that viewers will follow the picture wherever it elects to venture.

Film Details Downsizing

Downsizing imagines what might happen if, as a solution to over-population, Norwegian scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall and propose a 200-year global transition from big to small. People soon realize how much further money goes in a miniaturized world, and with the promise of a better life, everyman Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in Omaha in order to get small and move to a new downsized community - a choice that triggers life-changing adventures.

Comedy


Now Playing

Downsizing is not showing in any theaters in the area.

Credits

Downsizing

Rated R

135 min.

2017

Director:

  • Alexander Payne

Cast:

  • Kristen Wiig
  • Matt Damon
  • Christoph Waltz
  • Neil Patrick Harris
  • Jason Sudeikis

Writer:

  • Alexander Payne
Favorite

More by Matt Brunson

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

What others are saying

  • Trending in the Alternative Press

    Latest in Film Reviews

    • Review: Midsommar
    • Review: Midsommar

      A notable achievement distinguished by staggering visuals and a superlative lead performance.
      • Jul 16, 2019
    • Review: Spider-Man: Far From Home
    • Review: Spider-Man: Far From Home

      A villain eventually comes into focus in the second half, and it’s here where the film takes a tumble.
      • Jul 2, 2019
    • Review: Dark Phoenix
    • Review: Dark Phoenix

      Dark Phoenix is like Smokey and the Bandit 3, when even Burt Reynolds knew enough was enough and bailed before filming got underway.
      • Jun 11, 2019
    • More »

    The Most: Read | Shared | Comments

    Movies This Week

    More Filmtimes

    or

    Right Now On: Twitter | Facebook

    Copyright © 2019, Connect Savannah. All Rights Reserved.
    Website powered by Foundation