Alexander Payne has focused our gaze on the intimacies of American life for over two decades. With Downsizing he both expands his canvas globally (exploring Nordic frugality, Eastern-bloc excess, and trans-national migration) and zooms in on hyper-specifics of contemporary human existence. How much are a married couple (Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig) willing to sacrifice in order to achieve an upper-class lifestyle? Is it really possible to frame radical self-interest as planetary charity? These contradictions, and the hilarity they instigate (as well an astonishing, breakout performance by actor Hong Chau), propel Payne's mind-bender into our hearts and our heads.
A Q&A with director Alexander Payne and actor Hong Chau follows the screening.
Downsizing. 2017. USA. Directed by Alexander Payne. Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
This film program is organized by Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film, and Sean Egan, producer, film exhibitions and projects, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
The Hammer Museum’s presentation is made possible by The Billy and Audrey L. Wilder Foundation.
Media sponsorship is provided by The Hollywood Reporter. Additional media support is provided by Time Out L.A.