’Tis the season for a whole bunch of Sundance favorites to start cropping up in theaters near you, and amongst all the Bad Batches and Big Sicks this one small, understated drama shouldn’t be overlooked. In Columbus, John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson play out their own Lost in Translation: Two lost souls happen upon each other and strike up a connection in spite of their uncertainties about their futures.

Stuck in a city he’s unfamiliar with, John Cho’s Jin strikes up a friendship with Richardson’s Casey, an architecture fiend who ought to be getting her degree, and the two connect over their unwillingness to movie their lives forward. “There’s this belief that if you’re not there when a family member dies, your spirit will roam aimlessly and become a ghost,” Cho says at the start of the trailer. Maybeeeeee it’s a metaphor.

Here’s the synopsis:

While his father is in a coma, Jin finds himself stuck in an unusual Midwestern city renowned for its modernist buildings. Though not fond of architecture, Jin strikes up a friendship with Casey, a bright girl who works at the city library (avoiding college and her future), and she shows him the local marvels. With a curious intimacy reserved for strangers, Jin and Casey explore both the town and their conflicted emotions: Jin’s estranged relationship with his father and Casey’s reluctance to leave her mother, a recovering drug addict.

Columbus, the directorial debut of former Criterion video essayist Kogonada, opens August 4.

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