Downsizing

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Downsizing review film poster

Director: Alexander Payne
Cast: Matt Damon, Cristoph Waltz, Hong Chau, Kristen Wiig
Genre: Drama, Satire
Language: English
Country of Origin: USA 2017 135 mins. (15)
Released by Paramount Pictures

Alexander Payne (Nebraska, LFF2014) puts climate change, mobility and immigration under the microscope in this utterly bewitching satire starring Matt Damon. In a future that could very well be right now, Norwegian scientists discover a method for shrinking people to pocket-size as part of a grand design to limit humanity’s footprint and save the world. Five years later, a thriving parallel ‘small’ economy has evolved, complete with lifestyle choices and luxury miniature communities. Beige, work-a-day Paul Safranek (Damon) wants to scale-up his options by sizing-down, but things begin to go awry when wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) gets cold feet. Payne and regular collaborator Jim Taylor started work on Downsizing’s wildly inventive screenplay between the making of Sideways (LFF2004) and The Descendants (LFF2011), and this lengthy gestation has seen its underlying topicality become even more urgent and relevant. Immediately shedding its sci-fi skin – just as its protagonists must discard hair and teeth to become small – this is precision, high-concept filmmaking that ripples with wry observational humour and seamlessly integrates its visual effects. Damon, superb as the bewildered everyman, is supported by an appropriately florid Christoph Waltz and a captivating Hong Chau, playing an illegal immigrant who arrives in a parcel. 2017 BFI London Film Festival

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Release Type: 
Release date: 
Wednesday, January 24, 2018 (All day)