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Columbus (2017 film)


Dec 17, 2021

Columbus is a 2017 American drama film written, directed, and edited by Kogonada in his feature directorial debut. The film follows the son of a renowned architecture scholar (John Cho) who gets stranded in Columbus, Indiana, and strikes up a friendship with a young architecture enthusiast (Haley Lu Richardson) who works at the local library. Michelle Forbes, Rory Culkin, and Parker Posey appear in supporting roles. The film premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and was released in the United States on August 4, 2017, by the Sundance Institute, receiving acclaim from critics.

2017 American film

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Kogonada
Written by Kogonada
Produced by
Cinematography Elisha Christian
Edited by Kogonada
Music by Hammock
  • Depth of Field
  • Nonetheless Productions
  • Superlative Films
Distributed by Sundance Institute
Release date
  • January 22, 2017 (2017-01-22) (Sundance)
  • August 4, 2017 (2017-08-04) (United States)
Running time
104 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $700,000[2]
Box office $1.1 million[3]

. . . Columbus (2017 film) . . .

In Columbus, Indiana, Jin Lee arrives from South Korea to watch over his estranged father who, while visiting the town to give a lecture about architecture, has fallen into a coma and is now in a local hospital. He feels pressure from his job to continue working despite his father’s condition. One day, Jin meets Casey, a young woman who works in a library near the hospital. Casey lives with and takes care of her mother, a recovering drug addict. She delayed going to college to help her mother, and continues to live in Columbus despite a desire for a career in architecture. Although Casey has not enrolled in college, she has attended lectures given by Jin’s father and is passionate about working in architecture.

Casey and Jin quickly build a rapport, and Casey guides Jin around Columbus for several days. The two discuss the local architecture, specifically the work of Eero Saarinen, while simultaneously opening up about themselves to each other. Jin reveals his feelings of resentment toward his father, whom Jin believes to have cared more about work than for him. Casey also opens up about her dream of getting a job in the architecture industry. However, she confesses that she cannot leave her mother in order to pursue it. Jin advises that it is her life and that Casey is holding herself back.

One night, Casey and Jin are wandering around Columbus when Casey discovers that her mother had been lying to her and has perhaps relapsed. Following this incident, Casey comes to the conclusion that it is in her best interest to move on and decides to leave Columbus and pursue her dream. Jin and Casey share a tender hug goodbye and Casey leaves, while Jin stays behind to watch over his ailing father.

  • John Cho as Jin Lee. A Korean-American who works in South Korea translating literature to English.
  • Haley Lu Richardson as Casey. A recent high school graduate and library worker caring for her mother while dreaming of being an architect.
  • Parker Posey as Eleanor. Jae Yong Lee’s longtime assistant for whom Jin has harbored feelings in the past.
  • Michelle Forbes as Maria. Casey’s working-class mother, who is a recovering drug addict.
  • Rory Culkin as Gabriel. A doctoral student and coworker friend of Casey’s.
  • Erin Allegretti as Emma. A high school friend of Casey.
  • Shani Salyers Stiles as Vanessa. Maria’s coworker.
  • Joseph Anthony Foronda as Jae Yong Lee. Jin’s father and an acclaimed architecture professor who falls into a coma.

. . . Columbus (2017 film) . . .

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. . . Columbus (2017 film) . . .