Downsizing – Movie Review

Downsizing – R
Release Date: Fri 22 Dec 2017

Writer/director Alexander Payne brings us this comedy/drama/sci-fi story starring Matt Damon as Paul, a man who decides to become five inches tall and move into a luxury housing development for the very small.

Before diving into the movie itself, it’s important to know that the trailer for this movie sells a very different product than what Downsizing actually is. Though the trailer does spoil some important beats (what happens to Paul’s wife), it does not do a good job of explaining the tone of the movie. The trailer makes it look like it will be mainly Paul and Dave (Jason Sudeikis) exploring the wonderland where normal-sized bottles of vodka are like tanker trucks. It’s makes up maybe a scene or two, and the giant vodka bottle scene in the trailer is not in the final movie.

Instead, Downsizing presents Paul’s existential need for a purpose. Robbed of sharing a luxurious life with his wife (Kristen Wiig – very briefly), Paul meets an outrageous black market trader (Cristoph Waltz) and a Vietnamese dissident who was shrunk against her will as a prisoner.

Paul makes what seem like rational decisions throughout the movie, only to find himself a failure and deciding to go back and try it the harder way. Even the very last decision of the movie, he seems to be choosing logic over love. Instead he’s choosing between safer odds of survival vs being helpful to those who can’t help themselves.

With an open mind and an understanding that the trailer seems to have been made by someone who fell asleep twenty minutes in, Downsizing is an interesting sci-fi film with it’s fair share of drama and comedy.

Amber, Aaron, Cal and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car:

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