The film casts Academy Award winner Matt Damon (The Martian) and Academy Award nominee Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids) as an average Omaha couple who agree to be shrunk down to 5 inches tall and join a global movement to “downsize” humanity in the interests of solving the planet’s overpopulation crisis. They soon learn how much farther their money will go when they join a community of other downsized people, and begin a life full of new, enormous adventures.
Joining Damon and Wiig in the film’s impressive cast is two-time Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained, Inglorious Basterds), as well as Hong Chau (Inherent Vice) and Jason Sudeikis (We’re the Millers), with the latter playing a shrunk-down colleague of Damon’s character. Other supporting cast members include James Van Der Beek (Dawson’s Creek, Varsity Blues), Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), Bruce Willis (Die Hard franchise), Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), and Laura Dern (Jurassic Park).
The script for Downsizing was penned by Payne and his Sideways co-writer Jim Taylor, and the film has been in development since that 2004 film was released. It was initially expected to be Payne’s follow-up to Sideways, but the in-demand filmmaker ended up working on a pair of heavily Oscar-nominated projects in the meantime: 2011’s The Descendants (which won Payne his second Academy Award) and 2013’s Nebraska (which earned him an Academy Award nomination). It wasn’t until 2014 that Downsizing was officially announced as Payne’s next directorial project.
The score for Downsizing was composed by Rolfe Kent, who previously earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for composing the Sideways score, and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for composing the score for the Dexter television series.
The film received its world premiere at the 74th Venice Film Festival in August and has received positive reviews so far from critics and other festival attendees, with The Guardian calling it a “miniature masterpiece.”
Downsizing hits theaters December 22.
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