When scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall as a solution to over-population, Paul (Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in order to get small and move to a new downsized community – a choice that triggers life-changing adventures.
This is the latest film from writer/director Alexander Payne, a longtime critical darling behind Oscar-winning hits like Sideways and The Descendants. Payne and his writing partner Jim Taylor spent years working on the script, but production on The Descendants and Nebraska prevented them from starting production. In 2014, the two finally decided to make it their next film. Since Downsizing has been in development for so long, the cast underwent numerous changes before principal photography commenced. Originally, Reese Witherspoon, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Paul Giamatti were set to star, but they were all replaced.
Downsizing premiered at the 2017 Venice Film Festival, where it received generally positive reviews. Critics found the concept to be unique and creative, but felt the story was not executed in the best manner. Though not as much of a player on the awards circuit as Payne’s other films, the film has received some noteworthy accolades. It was named one of the 10 best films of the year by the National Board of Review, and Hong Chau has received multiple Supporting Actress nominations for her performance – including the Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globes.
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