Matt Damon shrinks himself, and finds a bigger purpose in life, in the new trailer for Downsizing. Oscar-winner Alexander Payne directed the science-fiction comedy co-starring Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis, Laura Dern, Christoph Waltz, Alec Baldwin, Margo Martindale, and the great Udo Kier.
When science makes Disney movie fantasy a reality by learning how to shrink human beings to action-figure size in a bid to combat over-population and the resultant rampant consumption of precious resources, bored customer service guy Paul (Damon) and his stressed-out wife Audrey (Wiig) decide to get in on the downsizing revolution and move into an adorable doll house community. This decision leads to all the unexpected, life-altering, Talking Heads-soundtracked realizations that one would expect from an Alexander Payne movie.
In the second trailer for Downsizing from Paramount Pictures (see above), life for Paul and Audrey is an unending drudgery of thankless work - before a solution to their mind-numbing crisis seems to present itself in the form of a tiny Jason Sudeikis. Despite being five-inches tall, Sudeikis is big with infectious enthusiasm, and soon Paul and Audrey are signing up to be reduced themselves. The trailer sets up the whimsical fantasy world where reduced people live, a combination of Swift's Land of Lilliput and a retirement community where tiny people can live it up without having to deal with all the sad misery of earning a paycheck. And - extra bonus - now vodka bottles are the size of gas tankers.
In the world of tiny people, where a small amount of everything goes a lot farther than in the real world, $100,000 is worth $12 million so even middle-class folks can live like Kardashians. Not only that, but because you live in a world where you are small and dandelions are huge, even a normal backyard is transformed into a place of adventure. Of course, not everything is wonderful in Downsized-land, as Paul soon finds out (otherwise there would be very little dramatic tension in the story).
Alexander Payne loves exploring angst-ridden characters being jarred from their comfort zones and winding up on the path to self-discovery, but not before running a little gauntlet of awkward comedic situations. The high-concept Downsizing takes Payne out of the slice-of-life zone where most of his work has lived and sees him delving into straight-on science-fiction, though the flavor is still very much reminiscent of his signature works Sideways and The Descendants. It's a bit of a surprising turn for Payne, veering into Swiftian fantasy after the stark, downbeat road trip comedy-drama of his last film Nebraska.
For years, Payne has been a reliable presence during awards season, with seven total Oscar nominations to his name including Best Screenplay wins for Sideways and The Descendants. We'll see if Oscar voters make Downsizing a big winner once awards season kicks into high gear.
Source: Paramount Pictures
- Downsizing (2017) release date: Dec 22, 2017