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  1. Published on: 26/01/2018 09:35 AMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: When shrinking technology becomes a reality, a man realizes he can live a better life being five inches tall.

    There has been a surprising amount of coverage for Alexander Payne's newest release. His films I would not call mainstream. But a fair amount of his work has been in the mix during awards season.

    My particular favourites of his previous works are high-school comedy Election and comedy-drama Sideways. Despite being a big Oscar contender, I never really got into The Descendants. But I have been surprised with really liking Nebraska, as it felt like something I would not normally go for.

    If you have seen the trailer, then you would instantly think of films like Fantastic Voyage or Honey I Shrunk The Kids.

    The history of shrunken characters have been around for a lot longer than you would think. The earliest I can remember a film doing this was in the late 1950's in films like The Incredible Shrinking Man or The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad.

    With all this mind, I was certainly intrigued to see how this would go. The first act is pretty solid. It shows the process and reasoning for this technology fairly well and it moves along nicely. But once that is covered, it's as if they forgot that they had to make a story out of this. A moment happens that I was not expecting between the two initial main characters. It left me confused, as we seemed to be going into a much different film then I was expecting.

    So in the end, they seemed to go for a generic or sub-standard 'journey of discovery' story. It also felt like to me it was trying to portray some sort of social satire. If it was, then it was not working for me.

    While there was nothing wrong with the performances, almost none of them were exceptional. It was kind of hard to root for the central character played by Matt Damon. I was surprised by this, as Damon usually has a likable presence about him. Sadly, he was a bit bland for me.

    The only performance that felt memorable was Hong Chau's, which only came in the second half. Her wild over-the-top presence was somehow surprisingly enjoyable. But I can see some people feeling her character to be out of tone, and that could lose your investment of the film completely.

    Another outlandish character was played by Christoph Waltz. It did work for me, but only in moments.

    While I think the film as a whole is alright, it is nowhere near as profound as it's trying to be. My initial reaction once coming out of my screening, was that I felt like that they liked the concept that they were going for. But after that, not much else.

    It almost more like a Charlie Kaufman film in terms of the surreal moments. So that might intrigue you if you are a fan of Kaufman's works.

    I admired its ambition, and I felt the visual effects were executed pretty well for a director who is not known for any CGI. Pretty much everything was fine or admirable, which is why I'm giving it a respectable rating. I just don't think it all came together into a full-fledged story with a strong message.

    Rating: 7/10
     

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