By GABRIELLA BOCK | Reporter
New from acclaimed indie director Alexander Payne (“Sideways,” “Nebraska”) comes “Downsizing,” a whimsical romp starring Palisadian Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig as a husband (Paul) and wife (Audrey) who plan to shrink themselves down the size of an index finger.
“Why?” is the first question that comes to mind, followed shortly thereafter by the obligatory “hows?” But luckily the message is not lost behind a crackpot concept: Excessive human consumption has all but destroyed our planet and now the only way to reverse our impact is by reducing our size.
After a brief jumble of lab coat exposition, Paul and Audrey decide to become heroic do-gooders and take the plunge into a more minimal lifestyle—except not really. With “tinydom” comes more space to sprawl, more sky to reach and a never-ending supply of vodka. When downsizing, there is no limit on how big your McMansion can be and with this, Payne’s satirical examination of human nature is pushed through an over-exaggerated lens that still manages to hit its mark.
After Audrey suffers a bout of cold feet, Paul must navigate through his new life in Leisureland, a luxury “little person” community, and undoubtedly learn the biggest lesson of all: sometimes the grass really isn’t greener—even when it is.
The film features cameos from Palisadian Laura Dern and Neil Patrick Harris, while Christoph Waltz, Jason Sudeikis and Hong Chau fill out the rest of the cast.
“Downsizing,” which opened the Venice Film Festival last August, arrives in theaters Dec. 21.