“Downsizing” Opens Venice Film Festival

By Creative Media Times

Paramount Pictures

Alexander Payne‘s “Downsizing” opened the Venice Film Festival on Aug. 30 where the film was met with applause, and already there’s strong early buzz on the film’s awards potential.

The sci-fi comedy stars Matt Damon as an occupational therapist shrunken to four inches tall along with his wife, played by Kristen Wiig, as they search for a better life. Christoph Waltz also co-star as their aging partyboy neighbor. Jason Sudeikis, Laura Dern, Alec Baldwin, Neil Patrick Harris and Margo Martindale also star in the film.

Most of the reviews so far have been very positive. It currently have an 84 score on Metacritic.com and an 89% fresh rating from Rottentomatoes.com averaged from 18 reviews. Hollywood Reporter‘s Todd McCarthy called the film “captivating, funny and possessed of a surprise-filled zig-zag structure that makes it impossible to anticipate where it’s headed,” while Owen Gleiberman of Variety describes it as “a ticklish and resonant crowd-pleaser for grown-ups.” The Guardian raves about Payne: “He never puts a foot wrong, rustling up a picture that is as bright as a button and as sharp as a tack. Downsizing contains multitudes. Inside, it’s a giant.”

Many reviews so far praise Hong Chau, with Hollywood Reporter calling her performance “sensational in this unlikely role”, while Variety describes her Ngoc Lan as ” the film’s most surprising character.” Chau plays a Vietnamese activist shrunk against her will by the government.

These past few years, Venice Film Festival has launched award winning films as seen with “La La Land,” which opened last year’s festival, and “Birdman” which did so in 2014. The former went on to win six Oscar trophies, while the latter won Best Picture.

Downsizing will next be playing at the Toronto International Film Festival which should give clearer indication of the film’s critical consensus.