If you’ve seen the trailer for Downsizing, you might have been swept away by Matt Damon’s impish little smile at the thought of being swept away to a land of little people.
Damon has range as Paul Safranek, a middle-class, Middle America sort who toils to reach modest dreams with his wife Audrey. Kristen Wiig surely is no stranger to the comedic side of Hollywood, so there you have the scene set as they decide whether of not to join in the craze started by the startling discovery of a process that allows humans to be shrunk down to six inches tall.
The science is applauded wildly as the pioneers’ first year’s worth of trash fits into a garbage bag.
Imagine how great this can be for Earth.
And it will have financial ramifications, too. Think intake as well as output. Food. Material goods.
Paul and Audrey hear the pitch, think of how they got turned down for the mortgage for that bigger house, and sign up to go small.
Director Alexander Payne, from the script he wrote with Jim Taylor, decides to go way more toward the social ramification route than for any laughs.
Even though he has Christoph Waltz as zany Euro neighbor Dusan in the small world and many plot twists to keep you guessing, Payne goes for the mind rather than anything easy.
Damon does well with all of it, and Hong Chau draws your heart and soul as a Vietnamese dissident who plays a bigger and bigger part in Paul’s circle of life.
In the end, he must choose in a grand manner.