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Downsizing in ‘Downsizing’ (‘A life in style’), his most ambitious film to date, Alexander Payne Downsizing (‘Between drinks’, ‘The descendants’) intersects 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’ – who must face the mirages of solidarity and chronic selfishness of the Western world. To do 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 markets in the United States a technology developed by Norwegian scientists that allows a man to be miniaturized up to 1.80m. 12cm. The initial meaning of the project responds to environmental and philanthropic motivations: to reduce the problem of overpopulation –with its corresponding lack of food and excess waste– that threatens to destroy the human species. However, when it comes into contact with the capitalist machinery, technology becomes an escape valve for consumer ardor.

In the interesting opening section of the bittersweet ‘A Big Life’, Payne brings into play the most naturalistic and sober side of his cinema: we are invited to understand the actions and decisions of Paul and Audrey as the logical response to the aspirations of the Yankee middle class. The underlying themes of the film (the small ambitions of ordinary people, the way in which the consumer society disguises the purest individualism as altruism) find a particularly contained accommodation in the work of a Damon and a Wiig. Only one small episode, in which Neil Patrick Harris and Laura Dern play telemarketing puppets, seems to point to the open cartoon.

Duration: 135 min


IMDb: 5.7