Shrunken Matt Damon Opens 74th Venice Film Festival

VENICE—Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing”, a satire about shrinking humans to five inches tall as a solution to over-population and global warming, opened the Venice film festival on Wednesday.

It kicked off days of screenings, parties and red carpet glamor at the world’s oldest film fest on the historic lagoon city’s Lido island.

The movie, starring Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig, tells the story of financially-strapped occupational therapist Paul Safranek and his wife Audrey who decide to be downsized – a process that is irreversible – so they can be part of the affluent “small community” where money goes a lot further.

Safranek is attracted by the idea of starting over, leaving problems behind and doing one’s bit for the planet in the process.

But unlike the noble intentions that drove scientists to find a way to fight global warming, most of the people who sign up for the irreversible procedure are lured by the promise of being able to multiply their possessions and afford luxuries – from villas to diamond necklaces – they could normally only dream of.

Soon Leisureland – the glass-covered downsized community where Safranek and his wife decide to move – turns into a micro version of today’s society, where corruption, wealth-disparity and people like Dusan Mirkovic, a party boy and smuggler of counterfeit goods played by Christoph Waltz, thrive.

Director Alexander Payne poses with actors Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig and Hong Chau during a photocall for the movie "Downsizing" at the 74th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy on Aug. 30, 2017. (REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)
Director Alexander Payne poses with actors Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig and Hong Chau during a photocall for the movie “Downsizing” at the 74th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy on Aug. 30, 2017. (REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)
Actor Matt Damon poses during a photocall for the movie "Downsizing" at the 74th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy on Aug. 30, 2017. (REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)
Actor Matt Damon poses during a photocall for the movie “Downsizing” at the 74th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy on Aug. 30, 2017. (REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)

Damon said films were the best vehicle to help humans empathize with each other, adding that despite its apocalyptic tone, “Downsizing” ultimately is an optimistic movie.

“At the end of the day there is the sense that we are all in this together … I feel that is a very hopeful message in what is a very divided world,” the 46-year-old American actor told journalists.

Actor Matt Damon
Actor Matt Damon’s arrives at the 74th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy on Aug. 30, 2017. (REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)

“Downsizing” is one of 21 U.S. and international features vying for Venice’s Golden Lion that will be awarded on Sept. 9.

The Venice festival is considered a launching pad for the film industry’s award season, having premiered Academy Award winners in its last four editions.

Reuters

 
 
 
 
 

Developing: Powerful Earthquake Hits Central Mexico, Collapses Buildings

Developing: Powerful Earthquake Hits Central Mexico, Collapses Buildings
MEXICO CITY — A magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocked central Mexico on Tuesday, collapsing some buildings, cracking the facades ...
READ MORE >
 

Trump Lays Out New Vision for World in UN Speech

Trump Lays Out New Vision for World in UN Speech
NEW YORK—President Donald Trump laid out his vision for the world in his first speech to the U.N. ...
READ MORE >
 
US

Obama Administration May Have Wiretapped Trump Tower, Reveals New Report

Obama Administration May Have Wiretapped Trump Tower, Reveals New Report
After recently claiming that allegations the Obama administration wiretapped the Trump Tower were groundless, CNN reported new details ...
READ MORE >
 

Toys ‘R’ Us Files for Bankruptcy Ahead of Holiday Season

Toys ‘R’ Us Files for Bankruptcy Ahead of Holiday Season
Toys 'R' Us Inc, the largest U.S. toy store chain, filed for bankruptcy protection late Monday, the latest ...
READ MORE >
 

This epic dad will dance with his daughter when mom isn’t home

This epic dad will dance with his daughter when mom isn’t home
When Rujeana, mother of two small children wasn't home her husband had to take care of the children. Normally hilarious ...
READ MORE >