Columbus ★★★★½

A staggering achievement through and through, COLUMBUS is as close to perfect as movies in the "two people make a connection and talk" genre get. (I've seen comparisons to LOST IN TRANSLATION but this is a better movie than that was.)

First off, I don't think there's as great an achievement in shot selection as this movie in recent memory. Every frame is simply perfect, selected for maximum beauty and impact, and the visual power of each scene is used to underscore what the characters are discussing - and given that the two principals are mostly talking about the troubles they have in their relationships with their parents, the visual beauty offsets the emotional starkness of their dialogue. I know people like to natter about "every frame is a painting," but Kogonada took that motto to heart when he was making this movie and it really shows.

That dialogue is naturalistic, unforced, entertaining without being showy or needlessly arty. John Cho has always been good, but he doesn't get the chance to really show what he can do all that often, and here he's a thunderclap in slow motion, walking wounded through life and dealing with the aftermath of a decayed relationship with his pre-eminent father. And Haley Lu Richardson is just a revelation; it is simply not fair that she is this good at acting this early in her career, communicating pep and disappointment and stress and passion all at once. It's a performance that won't win awards and deserves to win many of them.

Treat yo'self and catch this when you can. It's amazing.