2017 ( USA ) ( Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi )
DIRECTOR: Alexander Payne
STARRING: Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau
It’s the near future and the planet is overcrowded, over-heated and more or less done with the human race. Then a new ‘downsizing’ process is invented which will allow humans to be shrunk to approximately 5 inches in height if they so choose. It’s sold as the ultimate in environmental altruism. But the main reason is that “Smalls” get to live in luxury and privilege in well-appointed (and insect-netted) miniature communities. A personal fortune of $152,000 translates to $12.5 million for the rest of your life among the mini-people. A couple played by Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig are egged on into downsizing by an old friend with unanticipated consequences.
“Downsizing” touches knowingly on such present-day issues as climate change, immigration, widening wealth disparity and terrorism. But its deepest philosophical issues play out in Paul’s evolving relationship with Tran, portrayed by Chau in a performance that is spiky, endearing and touchingly expressive. The central idea never seems ridiculous and the special effects are never intrusive. The whole film is filled with clever ideas, whimsical distractions and poker-faced comic moments.