There’s an old show business saying: there are no small parts, only small actors. In the case of the upcoming film Downsizing, this is literally true for Matt Damon. He plays a man who, along with his wife (Kristen Wiig) and many other people, volunteers to be shrunk to the size of an action figure as a means of solving the problems of overpopulation.
This isn’t the first time a global sustainability solution has been floated on film or in literature. Charlton Heston blew the whistle on a decidedly unsavory plan in 1973’s Soylent Green. And in the 2016 movie, Inferno, based on Dan Brown’s novel, Tom Hanks had to stop a plot to kill off most of humanity by means of a biochemical plague.
Downsizing, directed by Alexander Payne, presents a considerably less sinister approach: shrinkage. More specifically, by making people smaller, the Earth’s and one’s personal resources would be consumed at a much slower rate. Win-win! Maybe.
The trailer left me with a few questions. Wouldn’t all of the animals have to be shrunk too? It would be disappointing to go through the entire process of downsizing only to be swallowed by your own cat. What about the weather? A light drizzle could be catastrophic for a community of modern-day Lilliputians. And can we expect a cameo by Rick Moranis as ‘Wayne Szalinski’ from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids?
Downsizing opens nationwide on December 22nd.