Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews


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3sm The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is MEDIOCRE Judy Thorburn

judy-thorburn-editorLas Vegas Round The Clock - www.lasvegasroundtheclock.com
Women's Film Critic Circle - www.wfcc.wordpress.com
Nevada Film Critics Society - www.nevadafilmcriticssociety.org
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3lg The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is MEDIOCRE



Reversing the idea that bigger is better, the initial premise of the sci fi fantasy, comedy/drama, Downsizing, is that by shrinking people down to five inches tall and housing them under a dome in self contained communities, would resolve overpopulation, environmental issues and dwindling resources. That's the plan put forth by a scientist in Norway who devises the unique solution with the belief it can save the human race.

Enter Matt Damon (delivering another fine performance) who stars as everyman Paul Safranek, a financially strapped occupational therapist, who figures this just might be the answer to pursuing the American dream for him and his wife Audrey (Kristin Wiig) after listening to a very attractive sales presentation by a slick corporate salesman of “Leisureland, America’s No. 1 Micro Community”, (Neil Patrick Harris) and his wife (Laura Dern). After all, in this scaled down world, money goes a lot further, everything is a lot more affordable, and you can lead a life of luxury in a mansion that costs a fraction of the usual cost.

The process of shrinking starts with agreeing to undergo an irreversible medical procedure that involves shaving your entire body and removing any metal parts, even tooth fillings (or else your head will explode). Meanwhile, as Paul is going through the process, his wife had decided she couldn't go through with it and leaves him to to fend for himself.

Paul winds up living in an apartment building where he befriends his upstairs neighbor, Dushon Mirkovic (Christoph Waltz), a rich, Serbian hedonist that throws wild parties, and a feisty, strong willed Vietnamese dissident (a marvelous, scene stealing performance by newcomer, Hong Chau), that was shrunk against her will, has a prothetic leg, speaks broken English, and is now working as a cleaning lady, when not committed to humanitarian causes. At this point, the the story veers off into another direction with several unexpected twists and turns.

Filmmaker Alexander Payne (Sideways, Nebraska) working from a script he cowrote with his long-time writing partner, Jim Taylor, has made an ambitious attempt to cram way too many issues, environmental, social and political, into the storyline, and loses focus on the original premise, as well as the humor. Downsizing the script would have worked in its favor. Unfortunately, the film is too long, somewhat of a disappointment, and falls short (pun intended) of getting a high recommendation.

In the end, what it really comes down to is Paul finding new love and his purpose in life, which in his case, meant getting small to see the big picture.

One more thing. Popping up in quick cameo appearances early on are James Van Der Beek and Margo Martindale, among others, who add an amusing element.


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