In Review: Matt Damon's Downsizing 'will have you smiling and crying in equal measure'

Downsizing (2017)

Director: Alexander Payne. (15)

Rating: 4/5 - very good lots to enjoy

As the planet groans under the multiple demands created by its billions of people, Norwegian scientists hit upon a safe method of shrinking humans to only a few inches in height.
Desperate for a new life with more money, suburbanite Occupational Therapist Paul (Matt Damon) and his depressed wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) sign-up to be shrunk and live life as millionaires in Leisure Land, a paradise new-town where small people live in perpetual sunshine and never need to work.
When Audrey bolts at the last minute, Paul is left to create a new life for himself, helped and hindered by the people he meets, including rowdy neighbour Dusan (Christoph Waltz).

Review by Jason Day

Friends of mine have been split by this satirical comedy, feeling underwhelmed and, given the cost of visiting the cinema these days, short changed.

Certainly the first 40 minutes, dragging you through Damon's many Occupational Therapy visits and the trauma of slogging through the daily grind, could have done with being pruned (the finished film is over two hours long).

At least, the writers could have introduced the perfectly outrageous Waltz earlier in the movie.

As a gloriously over-accented, perma-grinning Eurotrash neighbour, he steals the show and kicks the movie up the backside into life.

It's from the acclaimed writer-director of the superbly realised Nebraska and is a grandly whimsical fantasy, bright and breezy, that will have you smiling and crying in equal measure.

Its like The Truman Show (1998) directed by Charlie Chaplin, which might explain how the hospital gurneys that transport Damon et al to be shrunk appear to dance in balletic rhythm.

For more, see the full review:

Cast & credits
Director: Alexander Payne. Paramount/Ad Hominem Enterprises/Annapurna Pictures. (15)
Producers: Jim Burke, Megan Ellison, Mark Johnson, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor.
Writers: Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor.
Camera: Phedon Papamichael.
Music: Rolfe Kent.
Sets: Stefania Cella.
Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau, Kristen Wiig, Rolf Lassgard, Ingjergd Egeberg, Udo Kier, James Van Der Beek, Neil Patrick Harris, Laura Dern, Mary Kay Place.


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