Alexander Payne says making the disappointing 'Downsizing' was "difficult on every level — writing, financing, editing."

At the Tribeca Film Festival, a discussion/interview was held yesterday between moderator Dick Cavett and director Alexander Payne, who had interesting words when it came to his commercial bomb "Downsizing," which also received the worst reviews of Payne's 20-year career as a director. 
Thanks to Michael Nordine's IndieWire story on the event,  we know that Payne described the making of "Downsizing" as “difficult on every level — writing, financing, editing.” Payne also “addressed the lukewarm reviews it [received after] opening late last year, suggesting that its ambitious narrative may have been too much to fit into the framework of a single film.”
The film's reception came as a bit of a shock, especially after being toasted in Venice before having a much milder reaction at TIFF. It also broke Payne's streak of critical hits which started with his first film 1996's abortion satire "Citizen Ruth," which then lead to 1999's scathing political satire "Election," the Jack Nicholson led triumph of "About Schmidt" in 2002, the wine-romance, and best movie of 2004, "Sideways," 2011's "The Descendants," and 2013's black and white masterpiece "Nebraska." 
The problem with "Downsizing" lied in how brilliant the first half was. The second half suffered, especially because it veered off its main concept and went into an ecological one instead. Wiig completely disappears from the film. Christoph Waltz' rowdy neighbor has nothing to do with the themes of the film. I also found the Asian character, played by Hong Chau, incredibly annoying and a racist caricature. In other words, the idea of the film was great but Payne didn't follow through.
You can read more of my thoughts on "Downsizing" in my TIFF review of the film, dated 9.27.17 [HERE]