Imagine Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, only said shrinkage was of your own volition. You could willingly decide to become a miniature version of yourself, but why would any sane person do that? The selling point of such a bizarre life-changing experience is that as five-inch-tall human, you would literally use less resources, and thus all of your daily necessities and luxuries would cost next to nothing. If you never could afford living in a lavish mansion, now you can. If you always wanted a diamond bracelet or a yacht, now you could buy one for a fraction of the price. And hey, you’re helping the environment too! That’s the idea at the center of Alexander Payne’s Downsizing. This dark satire, directed by Payne (Nebraska, Sideways) and co-written by him and Jim Taylor, has the deceptive appearance of a quirky Charlie Kaufman-like sci-fi political tale, but it wastes its brilliant concept on a misguided, uninteresting story about a character you couldn’t care less about.
Can we put a moratorium on trailers using the Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime”? Now that we’ve gotten that bit of unofficial business out of the way, here’s the first full official trailer for Downsizing, the new film from Alexander Payne (Nebraska, The Descendants). We’ll have our review from the Toronto Film Festival later on, but until then, you can sneak a peek at one of the more puzzling films to premiere at this year’s fest.
Fantastic Fest 2017 is looking, how do you say…lit. The Alamo Drafthouse has unleashed the final wave of titles for this year’s lineup, which includes Alexander Payne’s latest, Wonder Woman’s wild origin story, the sequel to World of Tomorrow, and much, much more. As always, the Alamo’s annual genre film festival remains the only place where you can attend a performance by Gilbert Gottfried, watch a 4K restoration of a blood-soaked Takashi Miike cult classic, and see forever bonkers favorite Nicolas Cage as a murderous father.
In case you missed it, Nebraska director Alexander Payne is back with a new movie this year. Downsizing will open in theaters this December, and today brings our first look at a movie that finally asks: what if we could shrink Matt Damon to combat overpopulation?
Alexander Payne has traded muses, with his one-time Election star Reese Witherspoon stepping out of his developing project titled Downsizing to go pursue work elsewhere. (There’s no bad blood between the former collaborators, according to Deadline, the break was purely a matter of scheduling complications.) For her replacement, Payne went in a bit of a different direction. Though she does not share Witherspoon’s good-ol’-southern-gal charm or the combination of slight-statured cuteness and raw determination that made Election such a treat, SNL-alum-turned-movie-star Kristen Wiig will make for a perfect addition to the Payneverse. Payne’s last film, the tone-perfect small-town satire Nebraska, tapped Will Forte — another SNL vet — for a rare dramatic role and reaped massive dividends. Hopefully, he’ll be able to pull off the same feat with Wiig.