Matt Damon may be playing small, but the ideas flying around in his new movie Downsizing, in which people voluntarily shrink themselves, couldn't be any bigger.
Directed by Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways, Nebraska) and based on his original script (written with longtime collaborator Jim Taylor), Downsizing feels like it's based on a thousand page sci-fi cult classic. That's not all good news, as there's definitely something of a meandering quality to the film, but it is overstuffed with whacked-out ideas and certainly the most original movie with mainstream stars since last year's The Lobster.
So why is Matt Damon five inches tall? Well, on paper it's to save the Earth. That's what the Norwegian scientists that invented “cellular miniaturization” had in mind. The world's woes are all due to its overpopulation, but if people were the size of a salt shaker, Mother Nature might just have a chance at survival. When you can put four years' worth of waste from a community of 32 people in half a Hefty bag (as is proudly displayed at a scientific conference) you begin to see potential.