Haley Lu Richardson and John Cho
Reminiscent of the opening of Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy, Columbus sketches the formation of a deep, non-sexual bond between a bright, young high-school graduate named Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), who continues to grow despite the confines of her small hometown, and Jin (John Cho), a Korean professional trapped in Columbus, IN after his father suffered a medical emergency before speaking about the town’s striking architecture. Richardson has stood out from the crowd ever since gaining notice in the underrated The Bronze. She has a kindness to match her beauty, and though Casey can be rather unfriendly, Richardson is never unlikable. Just ask Jin or Rory Culkin’s Gabriel, Casey’s co-worker at the public library.
Recently nominated for several Gotham Awards, Columbus will reward the patient filmgoer who enjoys the more languid filmmaking of the aforementioned Linklater, whom video essayist Kogonada profiled before making his feature writing-directing debut with this warmly human romance.