Downsizing

Alexander Payne’s cautionary tale Downsizing shares much with Payne’s better earlier films — Election, Sideways, About Schmidt — which are stories of aging men having varying degrees of success contending with “life” — which is to say “other people.” Downsizing initially makes human extinction the matter at hand but craftily turns the sci-fi narrative about human miniaturization something much more immediate and intimate. It is, perhaps, the film’s subtlety that will leave some viewers perplexed. My advice would be to follow Matt Damon’s Paul through all of his large and small crises of identity and conscience because it is there you’ll find Payne’s very human and relatable message. The wonderful Asian actress Hong Chau is a delightful surprise.

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