Downsizing

 By Angie Raphael

3.5 stars

Original and thought-provoking are perhaps the two words that best describe this quirky social satire. Director/co-writer Alexander Payne tackles big humanitarian issues and leaves the audience with plenty to ponder. The concept of Downsizing is a little bizarre, yet simple. Human consumption has effectively destroyed the planet, so a group of scientists find a way to live as miniature people to cause less damage to the world. Paul (Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) make the life-changing choice to undergo the irreversible process, but things do not work out as planned and it leads Paul to go on a journey of self-discovery. Damon carries the film strongly, and there are some famous cameos, such as Neil Patrick Harris and Laura Dern, while Christoph Waltz has an interesting supporting role. There is perhaps a little bit of casual racism with the Vietnamese female protagonist, played by Hong Chau, but she does provide many genuine laughs and she is a strong-willed and interesting character. Downsizing drags in some parts but it is funny and unique. 


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