Paramount has released a new Downsizing trailer. Alexander Payne’s new film takes place where scientists have created a method of shrinking people to five inches tall, thus creating a new economy where a person’s financial worth goes much further. Matt Damon plays a financially strapped guy who decides to go small, but he’s left adrift after his wife (Kristen Wiig) bails once he’s had his procedure.
The trailer inadvertently highlights the movie’s biggest problem, which is that for all the satire Payne and co-writer Jim Taylor are able to squeeze into their admittedly clever premise, it always circles back to a story about a guy in the midst of a mid-life crisis. There are things in Downsizing that work incredibly well (the downsizing sequence is magnificent), but overall it’s a movie that never completely grasps the big social ideas like immigration and income inequality because it keeps coming back to Damon’s drip of a character.
What’s somewhat surprising about this trailer is that it hides the film’s strongest asset, Hong Chau. Granted, Chau isn’t a big star for U.S. audiences, but she gets the film’s best lines and ends up being the heart of the picture. If anything, Downsizing would probably be a much stronger film if it put her in the role of the protagonist rather than someone on Damon’s journey of self-discovery.
Check out the Downsizing trailer below, and click here for Brian Formo’s review from the Venice Film Festial. The film opens December 22nd and also stars Jason Sudeikis and Christoph Waltz.
Here’s the official synopsis for Downsizing:
When scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall as a solution to over-population, Paul (Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in order to get small and move to a new downsized community — a choice that triggers life-changing adventures.