Director: Alexander Payne
Cast: Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau
Release Date: March 20, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
When scientists find a way to shrink humans to five inches tall, Paul Safranek (Academy Award winner** Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to ditch their stressed out lives in order to get small and live large in a luxurious downsized community. Filled with life-changing adventures and endless possibilities, Leisureland offers more than riches, as Paul discovers a whole new world and realizes that we are meant for something bigger.
‘Downsizing’ follows Paul Safranek (Damon) a kind hearted and decent guy who along with his wife Audrey (Wiig) is barely squeaking by. But when scientists find a way to shrink humans to approximately five inches tall and offer a more hopeful and sustainable future at a mere fraction of the cost to match the new more eco-friendly size of the individuals, Paul and Audrey decide to go for it and make the move to a nearby community for downsized folks called Leisureland. But as Paul settles into his new small community, he finds himself meeting colorful individuals and embarking on new journeys that he never expected which soon leads him to wonder if humanity was truly meant for something bigger.
Directed by Alexander Payne (The Descendants, Sideways) from a screenplay he additionally co-wrote with regular collaborator Jim Taylor (Sideways), Payne does quite the wonderful job at the helm of ‘Downsizing’ guiding along this offbeat comedy with care and capturing the beauty and mood perfectly. The film also owes plenty of credit to the talented folks that comprise the cast including Matt Damon (Suburbicon), Christoph Waltz (Big Eyes), Hong Chau (Inherent Vice), Kristen Wiig (The Martian), Rolf Lassgård (A Man Called Love), Udo Kier (Brawl In Cell Block 99), Ingjerd Egeberg (TV’s Mammon), Jason Sudeikis (Masterminds) and more, nearly all delivering highly competent performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Downsizing’ is an amusing, generally lighthearted and quite entertaining little offbeat comedy with a unique premise that helps move the fun along in a style notably different than we often see in bigger box office comedy films (no pun intended) these days. Brimming with beauty and wonder around each step and serving up a fair amount of laughs and heartfelt moments throughout, it’s a calmly tempered and at times surprisingly moving film that does have its occasional off moments, but generally manages to deliver an enjoyable and gorgeous ride that many will undoubtedly enjoy for the most part. It’s carefully guided along its unique course by director Alexander Payne and his capable guidance is only boosted all the more by a talented cast led by Matt Damon that rarely falters. ‘Downsizing’ certainly suffers a few small hiccups along the way, such as pacing and a few other moves that seem somewhat inorganic, but as a whole it still comes together into a relatively solid, amusing and largely enjoyable little journey that should be worth taking for anyone already at all interested in this peculiar little comedy to begin with. Fans of star Matt Damon and/or of director Alexander Payne in particular will probably want to make a point of giving it a whirl whenever you have the opportunity and are liable to have a pretty good time with it.
Overall, ‘Downsizing’ is a somewhat unusual comedy that takes a unique idea and crafts it into a fairly humorous and heartwarming tale of one man’s leap to an entirely different type of life. With constant beauty and style in the landscapes and surroundings combined with a solid performance by Damon and the passionate guidance of Payne, it may not be perfect, but it’s definitely an entertaining comedy that dares to step outside the box and is well worth checking out. ‘Downsizing’ is recommended, especially for fans of director Alexander Payne and/or star Matt Damon, along with anyone that tends to enjoy a somewhat offbeat and unusual comedy that doesn’t fall into the more common generalizations of the genre these days. For anyone already even mildly intrigued by ‘Downsizing’ it should stand a good chance of proving well worth your time and the cost of a rental at the very least.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Downsizing’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks outstanding as a whole and provides a sharp and detailed presentation from start to finish with no noticeable faults to be found throughout. It holds up effortlessly even during the heavily populated and more darkly lit sequences, never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a fantastic high definition video presentation that consistently delivers throughout and shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release features a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack contributes nicely to the film and delivers a crisp and clean audio presentation throughout. It often takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to the send music, crowd chatter and other mild ambience throughout the various speakers along with more when appropriate, and always making certain that any dialogue or other audio elements that may be occurring simultaneously remain clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a solid 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers in every way required of it.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Downsizing’ includes a few notable extras in the way of some behind the scenes Featurettes that take you deeper into bringing the film to life and including interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Working with Alexander’ (running approximately 12 minutes in length), ‘The Cast’ (running approximately 11 minutes), ‘A Visual Journey’ (approximately 14 minutes), ‘A Matter of Perspective’ (9 minutes), ‘That Smile’ (6 minutes) and ‘A Global Concern’ (7 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
‘Downsizing’ will be Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray & DVD on March 20, 2018 & is Now Available to Own on Digital from Paramount Home Media Distribution