I was tired and just wanted to watch a nice, quiet movie where people spend most of their time slowly walking among leafy green deciduous trees looking at modern architecture, which is what this movie’s profile in the public [film] consciousness led me to believe I’d be getting. I did, so my feelings toward Columbus are pretty positive, as it was exactly what I wanted to watch when I watched it.
I do not have heaps to say about it, but that’s fine. I don’t think a movie’s success qua movie is contingent on having a bunch of ideas, or even interesting things you want to talk about later. A movie can just be an experience, a thoughtfully composed hour forty of setting and tone, cool and light. A movie can just be a couple nice performances by nice-looking people with approachable energies—Haley Lu Richardson and John Cho, in this case. (I’d only seen Haley Lu Richardson before in Support the Girls, and this performance is equally strong on a totally different emotional register, and now I’m kind of dazzled by her.)
I like that the central relationship isn’t a romance—pro tip for anyone who may have been avoiding it because they thought it was another love story. This is going to sound preposterous but in all honesty much of their odd platonic courtship of each other is sublimated through architecture, and perhaps most preposterous of all, I think it’s kinda nice. My favorite cuts in the whole thing are this bit where they sneak into her old school, the construction of that sequence and also just the shot of them creeping down a hallway together. I came for clean lines against the trees, but that’s the note I carried out.