Indie Gems: Columbus
I'm fine here.
Casey (Haley Lu Richardson) feels like she can't leave her home town of Columbus, Indiana. Her mother is a recovering addict, whom Casey looks after. She graduated a year ago, but didn't go to college. She loves architecture and spends her time working at a library. Jin (John Cho) is a Korean American who comes to Columbus when his father falls into a coma. He meets Casey and tries to encourage her to think of her own dreams for once.
If you haven't seen this film, and have only read reviews or watched trailers, you've probably noticed most are from Jin's perspective. Jin is struggling with his father's condition and goes to Columbus, but really, this is Casey's story. She has the most screen time, and we learn the most about her through her daily routine and her conversations with Jin.
Jin and Casey easily have one of the best platonic relationships I've seen on screen in a long time. Another film may have had them have an attraction or an affair despite the 20 year age difference between the actors, but this film never goes in that direction and I appreciate it even more for that. Though the age difference they hint at between John Cho and Parker Posey's character is kind of annoying considering they're fairly close in age.
Haley Lu Richardson has such a presence. This is the best performance I've ever seen from her and to be honest, had this been a bigger movie, she would've been in that Oscar discussion. She's tremendous in her restraint and you can see so many emotions in her eyes. John Cho is always reliable as well, even though he doesn't get nearly enough meatiness that Richardson does.
This is another film that's slower in pace, and it does check a lot of those stereotypical indie film boxes. (which I love, no shame) I can't help but adore movies like this. It reminds me of Dreamland and Chumscrubber, and so many other films where the lead character has to do a lot of internal soul searching while at the crux of a big life change. It's just my kind of film.
Watched on: Hulu
Memorable Quote: "It's like I've been transported somewhere else." - Casey (Haley Lu Richardson)