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Downsizing Full Movie 1080p

Year : 2017 Director : Alexander Payne Running Time : 135 min Genre : , ,
Movie review score

Downsizing is a wonderfully outsized movie for these times if there ever was one. Alexander Payne has taken a conceit heretofore used for gag-oriented sci-fi and comedy, that of shrinking human beings down to the size of a finger, and breathtakingly transformed it into a way of addressing the planet’s overriding long-term issue. Captivating, funny and possessed of a surprise-filled zig-zag structure that makes it impossible to anticipate where it’s headed, this is a deeply humane film that, like the best Hollywood classics, feels both entirely of its moment and timeless. It was a risky roll of the dice, but one that hits the creative jackpot.

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The rare director who has never made a bad film, Payne has now arguably created his best one with a work that easily accommodates many moods, flavors, intentions and ambitions. At its core, Downsizing grapples head-on with the long-term viability of humanity’s existence on this planet, but with no pretension or preachiness at all, while on a moment-to-moment basis it’s a human comedy dominated by personal foibles and people just trying to get by in life. It’s also a science-fiction film that not for a second looks or feels like one.

As such, this is a unique undertaking, one centered on an unexceptional Everyman character who unwittingly embarks upon an exceptional life journey; in that sense, Matt Damon’s Paul Safranek is like the hero of a Frank Capra or Preston Sturges film of 75 years ago, an ordinary man who has a certain sort of greatness thrust upon him. At the same time, the movie is a highly sophisticated creation that, due to its off-hand, underplayed presentation of the future, essentially seems to be taking place in the present day.

The setup definitely makes you lean in: At an international sustainability conference, Norwegian elder statesmen Dr. Jorgen AsbJornsen (Rolf Lassgard, memorable last year as the old curmudgeon in A Man Called Ove) stuns the crowd both by announcing that his project of shrinking human beings is now a reality and proving it by appearing in his new guise as a five-inches-tall man alongside his test “community of the small.” They all happily sing the praises of the transformation (and, in Payne’s one conceit, speak at full-sized normal volume, not in mouse-like squeaks).

This marks the revolution, albeit one that will occur in very slow motion; citizens are not coerced into going small, but make the decision for themselves, albeit with plenty of persuasive promotion that stresses the great financial upside, improved lifestyle and environmental benefit. Payne has made the interesting choice of not involving the government in the program at all — the scientific initiative didn’t come from Washington, nor does funding, as it’s strictly a private enterprise undertaking.

Ten years on, the focus settles on ordinary lives, not quite the low-end, small-town ones on view in Payne’s last film, Nebraska, but just-getting-by, vaguely middle-class folks like Omaha Steaks occupational therapist Paul Safranek (a suitably chubbed-out Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig). Fortyish and childless, the couple can see their future pretty clearly and it’s not a glorious sight. At a school class reunion they meet old friends (Jason Sudeikis and Maribeth Monroe in peppy cameos) who have gone small and rave about life at Leisureland, a planned community for the teeny where everything is pristine, well-manicured and ultra-cheap.

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