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Running Time:
1 hour, 44 minutes

Rating: Unrated

Additional Info:
Erin Allegretti ... Emma
Rory Culkin
Jim Dougherty ... Aaron
Caitlin Ewald ... Bartender Michelle Forbes ... Mother
Alphaeus Green Jr. ... Tour Guide
Wynn Reichert ... Miller House Tour Guide
Rosalyn R. Ross ... Christine
Lindsey Shope ... Sarah
Shani Salyers Stiles ... Vanessa
Reen Vogel ... Hotel Cleaner
William Willet ... Maria's supervisor See full cast

Much is made of architecture in Columbus, not simply in its look at the designs of some of the masters of the profession but on its healing power. Jin (John Cho), comes to Columbus because his father is in the local hospital in a coma. There he meets the much younger Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), and through the young woman’s talks on Columbus, Jin becomes aware of the “healing power of architecture.” 

In a long series of conversations, first between Casey and Gabriel,  He trusts her with innermost thoughts, the most disturbing being that he is not only estranged from his dad but does not care whether he recovers or dies.  He explains that in Korea, children of terminally sick parents are expected to be by their bedside and to show over-the-top emotions over the elders’ deaths.  While Casey is taken back by this admission, she is inspired by the older man, who at various moments in the story could turn their friendship into a romance.

If you savor intellectual conversations, you will find appeal in this theatrical piece. Haley Lu Richardson is adorable, looking about nineteen with a fresh, clean image and in one all-too-brief instance executing a passionate solo dance together with screams.  And John Cho respects their differences in education and age, limiting his role to digging deeply into Casey’s life story while inspiring her to give up her too-close attachment to her former drug-addicted mother (Michelle Forbes). 

In her central role, Richardson’s character is undergoing a coming-of-age but its sexual nature is not on exhibit as she turns her attention to her platonic relationship with Jin while reserving a potential intimacy with young Gabriel.  Architecture is front and center, a product placement for Columbus that might just inspire heading away from the coastal attraction into the interior.

In one sharing of views, Gabriel lectures Casey on attention spans, a topic widely covered especially these days when video games take precedence over normal, much less deep, conversation. Director Kogonada appears to be letting us in the audience know that his movie has none of the accoutrements of action-adventure tales, making Columbus a fine movie for a disappearing species: the mature audience.

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