From a 4.1.17 post titled “Middle Americans May Not Like What They See in Downsizing“, which riffed on my reactions to a 10-minute Downsizing clip shown at Cinemacon and particularly a conservative Arizona woman’s reaction to it:
“Yes, Downsizing is ‘comedic’ but a long way from lighthearted. For all the humor and cleverness and first-rate CG it feels kind of Twilight Zone-y…a kind of Rod Serling tale that will have an uh-oh finale or more likely an uh-oh feeling all through it. The undercurrent felt a teeny bit spooky, like a futuristic social melodrama in the vein of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.
“In its matter-of-fact portrait of middle-class Americans willing to shrink themselves down to the size of a pinkie finger in order to reap economic advantages, Downsizing doesn’t appear to be the sort of film that will instill euphoric feelings among Average Joes. It struck me as a reimagining of mass man as mass mice — a portrait of little people buying into a scheme that’s intended to make their lives better but in fact only makes them…smaller. A bit like Trump voters suddenly realizing that their lot isn’t going to improve and may even get worse.
“A day after Cinemacon’s Downsizing presentation I was chatting with a bespectacled heavy-set female who works, she said, for an Arizona exhibitor (or some exhibition-related business) in some executive capacity. She struck me as a conservative, perhaps one who processes things in simplistic ‘like/no like’ terms, definitely not a Susan Sontag brainiac.
“I shared my impression that the Downsizing clip was brilliant, and asked what she thought of it. Her response: ‘I don’t know what I think of it.’
“HE translation: ‘No offense but I don’t want to spill my mixed feelings with some Los Angeles journalist I’ve just met. I didn’t like the chilly feeling underneath it. It didn’t make me feel good. My heart wasn’t warmed by the idea of working people shrinking themselves down so they can live a more lavish lifestyle. I have to work really hard at my job and watch my spending and build up my IRA, and I didn’t appreciate the notion that I’m just a little struggling hamster on a spinning wheel.'”