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What went wrong with ‘Downsizing’

I’m not usually one to take shots at ambitious films by well-respected directors — especially ones that bombed at the box office. But Alexander Payne’s Downsizing presents an irresistible case because it’s such an interesting failure.

Nitpix has put together a detailed essay explaining why Downsizing is one of the worst “smol” movies ever (i.e. a movie in which the protagonist is shrunk down to a smaller size):

  • It seems to completely abandon its sci-fi premise almost immediately, despite introducing it twice.
  • It raises many interesting social and political issues that it fails to explore meaningfully.
  • The plot’s structure is a mess and the film sputters to an end.
  • Matt Damon’s character is a big nothingburger and completely uninteresting and unsympathetic.

There’s probably only a few people that even care about this film, but I’ll admit: it definitely stuck in my craw. See also: Walter Chaw’s takedown of the film.