Downsizing 2017 Movie Trailer Review Poster Impelreport

In ‘Downsizing’ , his most ambitious film to date, Alexander Payne (‘Between drinks’, ‘The descendants’) crisscrosses the universes of comedy and science fiction to string together the moral odyssey of a good man – Matt Damon , in the wake of Jack Lemon, close to his work in ‘The Promised Land’ – which must face the illusions of solidarity and the chronic selfishness of the Western world. For this, the character of Damon and his partner ( Kristen Wiig), Paul and Audrey, decide to put themselves in the hands of a large corporation that commercializes in the United States a technology developed by Norwegian scientists that allows to miniaturize a man from 1,80m to 12cm. The initial meaning of the project responds to environmental and philanthropic motivations: reduce the problem of overpopulation -with its corresponding lack of food and excess waste- that threatens to end the human species. However, when coming into contact with the capitalist machinery, technology becomes an escape valve for the consumerist ardor.

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Downsizing 2017 Movie Trailer Review Poster Impelreport

In the interesting initial section of the bittersweet ‘A life in a big way’, Payne puts into play the more naturalistic and sober face of his cinema: we are invited to understand the actions and decisions of Paul and Audrey as the logical answer to the aspirations of the Yankee middle class. The underlying themes of the film (the small ambitions of the common people, the way in which the consumer society disguises the purest individualism as altruism) find accommodation in the work of a Damon and a Wiig particularly contained. Only a small episode, in which Neil Patrick Harris and Laura Dern play teleporter puppets, seems to point to the open caricature.

However, from the expected central rotation, the film is precipitated by a carousel of different mood tones and narrative tempos reminiscent of the different phases that crossed the character of Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day” marriage ‘ Dick and Jane, laughing thieves’ or Jim Carrey in ‘the Truman show’, when the conquest of a fascinating and surreal dream showed her bitter flipside: when utopia is transformed into a nightmare. Unfortunately, in parallel to this dystopian twist, in which we discover a world full of hypocrisy and walls (which they inevitably think of the protectionist malice of Donald Trump), writing Alexander Payne becomes less subtle, more inclined to underline in his denunciation of the prevailing egocentricity in our reality.

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Filled with impressive digital effects, perfectly integrated into a universe in which different scales coexist, ‘A life in a big way’ tackles multiple fronts (environmentalism, consumerism, alienation, greed) to end up turned into a long film starring small people. The film is not without elements of interest: Payne’s ability to level and counterbalance broadsides of existentialist pessimism with sudden outbursts of tenderness; the courage of a filmmaker who turns a great Hollywood production into a vehicle of criticism and reflection ; the echoes of the cinema of Frank Capra and Preston Sturges in the moral adventure of the protagonist. However, in the end, ‘A life in a big way’ ends up suffering from a certain paternalism in the approach to the marginal reverse (plagued by immigrants) of the American dream , as well as from an imbalance between Payne’s need and his co-writer Jim Taylor to show off his pen and his relative inability to involve the viewer in the love story that guides the film towards its end.


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Downsizing 2017 Movie Trailer Review Poster Impelreport