Alexander Payne’s new movie, Downsizing, imagines a future in which Norwegian scientists find a solution to overpopulation that’s so simple a child could have come up with it: They’re planning to shrink everyone down to just 5 inches tall. Of course, it’ll take a while before the entire population will be ready to adapt to that size, but there are some early adopters. Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig play a middle-class husband and wife who volunteer for this miniature lifestyle when they learn that they can live in luxury, because 52,000 regular-sized dollars will get them $12 million in their new life.
Other residents of the this pocket-sized paradise include Jason Sudeikis as a friend of Damon’s character who persuades him to think small, Christoph Waltz as an aging playboy, and Hong Chau as a Vietnamese dissident who was forcibly shrunken down by her government and sent to the United States. As you might expect, there are lots of sight gags in the trailer—like an average-size bottle of vodka that can get a whole neighborhood of “downsized” people drunk—but reviewers have also noted that, for better or worse, the film also takes the implications of its premise seriously. Downsizing is Payne’s first film since Nebraska in 2013, and it took him and collaborator Jim Taylor more than a decade to write the script.
We'll see for ourselves whether it was worth the wait when the movie hits theaters, Dec. 22.