Matt Damon wears dentures

© FORUM - The weekly magazine

In the hilarious science fiction satire "Downsizing" by Oscar winner Alexander Payne, Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig want to shrink themselves in order to lead a luxurious life in the micro-world and to conserve the earth's last resources. With unforeseen consequences.

The eccentric scientist Jorgen Asbjørnsen (Rolf Lassgard) gives the troubled world a groundbreaking theory: If our no longer blue planet and its inhabitants were not healthier, more sustainable and more harmonious, if the pollutants caused by the human species, the immense mountains of garbage, the gigantic ones Nutritional, especially climate problems, would be miniaturized cellularly to a fraction of its normal size, more precisely to five inches (12.7 centimeters)? The demonstration surprised the press, scientists, business tycoons and the public all the more when a rubbish bag that was only half full with the two-year total waste from an experiment from a village community in Norway was presented.

A decade after Asbjørnsen's discovery, millions from all over the world have shrunk to tiny. The noble rescue idea has degenerated into monetary marketing hype: In luxury "ghettos" called "Leisureland", which are reminiscent of true-to-scale mini wonderlands, minis rule like monarchs. Because if you let yourself be reduced, you increase your wealth. A diamond necklace with bracelets fitted with diamonds can be acquired for a bargain of around 80 US dollars, announced the picture book couple Laura and Jeff Lonowski (Laura Dern and Neil Patrick Harris) with a Blendax smile at the seller presentation: Reich and small, pure conscience. What more do you want?

The Biedermeier couple Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and Audrey (Kristen Wiig) from Omaha, Nebraska, ask themselves that too. Like countless US medium-sized companies, they are among the shadow citizens of US turbo-capitalism, which has crashed since 2008. Your savings are gone, the home you long for has long been in jeopardy, and Paul, an ex-doctoral student with lofty medical illusions, is starving as an occupational therapist in a slaughterhouse. "Darling, we're shrinking!" Is his motto, turning your last $ 156,000 into a whopping twelve million. In San Diego, in "Leisureland", they are undergoing a dramatic transformation. Director Payne and his familiar screenplay ace Jim Taylor ("About Schmidt", "Sideways") translate the process of miniaturization into phenomenal, roaring, tragicomic film sequences that are rarely seen in this detail-obsessed CGI-generated quality.

Shady business even in Leisureland

But when Paul wakes up from anesthesia bald and without dentures, and the nurse jokingly offers him a huge packet of crackers as a small snack, everything is different than originally hoped: Even a utopian Lilliput Eldorado involuntarily ends up in poor and rich, in classes and castes divided, infected by black market exploitation. Oscar character actor Christoph Waltz plays a Serbian party stallion and hedonistic king of the little ones who, together with his partner Konrad (Udo Kier), rakes in tons of money by illegally rolling thousands of small ones from a single large Havana or filling French noble perfume in mini bottles : "Right. I'm a little asshole, but the world needs assholes. Where else would all the shit end up? "He smugly declaims in one scene. But that's not all: Power corrupts. Mostly itself. So the minis are smuggled into the United States - cheaply packaged - in shoe boxes, and African dictators If necessary, their unpleasant rivals simply shrink in. Paul, abandoned by Audrey in a hurry, turns into a Samaritan with Robin Hood attitudes thanks to his strong affection for the shrunken Vietnamese cleaner and dissident Ngoc Lan Tran (Hong Chau) in the course of the desolate development.

The future fairy tale of ethical dwarfing gives way to an apocalyptic Götterdämmerung, a parable about the inability and unwillingness of man to ever be able to create a pacifist and democratic world. In a bar scene, for example, Paul and Audrey are bullied by a narrow-minded counter-drinker who believes he is threatened by the progressive micro-utopias.

According to the US redneck motto, why "these little ones should vote" and what they "contribute to the economy". Racism, resentment, envy and hatred of the new soak the crazy images and reflect acute global moods. The wonderland becomes No Man’s Land. And so only one thing remains, back to Asbjørnsen's original project in the Norwegian fjords ... The viewer, on the other hand, can lean back comfortably in the cinema seats to enjoy this furious opening film of the 2017 film festival and the 2018 Academy Award candidates to the full.