NYFF54 Review: ‘PATERSON’ is poetry in every sense of the word.

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PATERSON written and directed by Jim Jarmusch

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Adam Driver in PATERSON

  • Jim Jarmusch
  • 2016
  • USA
  • 118 minutes

Adam Driver is Paterson, a bus driver who writes poetry and happens to live and work in the city of Paterson, New Jersey, with his effervescent and energetic girlfriend (Golshifteh Farahani). Jim Jarmusch’s exquisite film is set to the rhythm of an individual consciousness and is made under the sign of the great American poet and New Jersey resident William Carlos Williams.

adam-driver-patersonJarmusch does it again with this seemingly simplistic story. The film elegant in that very simplicity. Following Paterson along on his daily routine, which only slight varies as the plot rolls along, we are privy to the everyday moments we often take for granted. We watch his breakfast, eavesdrop on conversations among his route passengers, sit with him on lunch breaks, walking home, and his nightly interactions with local bar patrons, his dog Marvin, and girlfriend Laura. She is a free spirit, artist, baker, and aspiring musician, painting everything in their home in black & white patterns. This is a stark juxtaposition to the lush cinematography when Paterson is out and about. There is an abundance of visual symbolism utilizing time and shadows and even with an almost 2 hr run-time, the film never loses its gentle pace. The beautifully easy score that underlies Adam Driver‘s fantastic voice overs as he writes his poetry in real-time, only serves to highlight how lovely this film truly is. Driver brilliantly portrays a man of calm and old-fashioned demeanor. He is quietly contemplative and extremely well read. With each role, he proves more and more what a star he is.

About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.