LetterboxD review link

Columbus, in the Susan Sontag sense of the word, isn’t much fun to interpret. It is less “about” something than it “is” something. What it is, in my experience of watching it, is a film featuring beautiful photography, framing and cinematography of modern architecture in Midwestern America. A region that reached its economic and social heights during a post-war manufacturing boom, now contains beautiful buildings, on wide, flat streets, that mostly go unappreciated by the residents of these towns.

I grew up in the Midwest. There was a lot of mid-century architecture around me, much of brutalist. I, and a lot of my compatriots who grew up in the Midwest but have since left, never thought of our hometowns as beautiful. It’s hard to see beauty in a place when all you want to do is leave. But this film was a nice way to remember that beauty exists all around. Even in places that can sometimes feel like the wrong place for you to be.

The story, and the two main protagonists, weren’t all that interesting to me. I didn’t get the sense that it chartered new territory or explored old themes in new ways. But the 2 hours I spent with the film, basking in its beautiful frames, and slow, relaxed, pace were a worthwhile use of time.