A Korean-born man finds himself stuck in Columbus, Indiana, where his architect father is in a coma. The man meets a young woman who wants to stay in Columbus with her mother, a recovering addict, instead of pursuing her own dreams.
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Such a delicate film. I am glad that this kind of film still exists in such fast-pacing and highly demanding time in our life. Modernism and loss of attachment are among my favourite themes in film. Kogonada able to pull the dichotomy of modernity & conventionality out, reifying them into a union. Last but not least, good scores from Hammock!
All those things "Lady Bird" is getting lauded for... well, I would say they're done better here. The homage to a city, the coming-of-age conflicts, the mother/daughter relationship... "Columbus" taps all areas beautifully, in an understated and intimate way, with the theme of architecture linking all these characters and scenes together. Haley Lu Richardson... wow!
A delicate film that showcases the beautiful architecture sprouting out of this quirky community in southern Indiana. The town of Columbus should have been given top billing during the credits. Kogonada is clearly a master of composition and mood, and I found the film’s symmetry quite mesmerizing. Some of the dialogue is annoying, but the film in general is rather rewarding.
Kogonada's cinephilia is front and center, evoking the likes of Rohmer and Tati. While the film is not perfect (I personally wish there were less of a plot), it is one of the most mature first films I have seen in years and shows a natural transition from video essays to full on filmmaking.
Kogonada graduates from video essay to film essay. "This is not a movie. Nothing happens". In a sense, Columbus looks like The Sims: characters are avatars, the acting is mostly algorithmic. Not a criticism, just an observation.
2.5 stars. John Cho rarely gets good roles to sink his teeth into. Unfortunately, the staid performances dictated by the director are frustratingly devoid of much warmth (though Haley Jo Richardson transcends this parameter at times). The plot needs more: twists/turns to enliven the otherwise simple story of children caring for their parents. The cold modern architecture of Columbus only adds to the disaffection.