Jim Jarmusch’s new film, Paterson, is a slow, tranquil walk thru the life of an ordinary man, which is very Jarmuschian, but this calming experience is like very few of the directors predecessors, which makes the unique film an even bigger treasure to behold.
Paterson (Adam Driver) is a bus driver in the city of Paterson, New Jersey who secretly likes to write poetry. Every day, Paterson follows a simple routine that suits his mundane lifestyle. He wakes up to his creatively ambitious wife Laura (Golshifteh Farahani) and his dog Marvin, eats his breakfast, walks the same path to work, drives the same daily bus route, eats dinner and walks the dog thru the city and takes a moment to stop at the local bar and have a beer on his way home. Life is simple and that’s the way Paterson prefers it. Each passing moment offers Paterson a chance to expand his secret book of poetry which is comprised of intimate experiences in his life. A matchbox or a thought or a simple calm breeze can spark the creative juices within this brilliant mind, however, Paterson doesn’t FEEL brilliant.
Paterson likes life with very little disruption, Laura’s world is ever changing. Each supports the other in their creative endeavors, but it’s Laura who needs to chip away at Paterson’s timid persona to help him envision a world where everyone gets to enjoy his poetry as much as he does. This is life, daily life, for Paterson, but when faced with a moment of disruption that throws off the balance of his life, it will take a soul searching event to climb back to his comfort and regain a normality to his tiny piece of the world.
Jim Jarmusch has created another masterpiece for us to treasure for decades to come. The delicate telling of this beautifully written film plays like an insiders look into one man’s existence, but the truly exceptional part of the journey is that you become engrossed within the frames of the film and begin to see life thru the eyes of this wonderful character. Adam Driver is exceptional as the titular character. There are multitudes of complicated layers within this character that you see fighting to surface, but the struggle of keeping this uneventful life on course seems to control every aspect of his existence. Golshifteh Farahani is a vision and the one counter aspect to Paterson’s life. Her performance is a peaceful, and yet, disruptive force within the film that adds humor, compassion and love that acts like a sanctuary for her counterpart.
Overall, Paterson is one of Jim Jarmusch‘s finest moments and a movie that offers many interpretations for it’s viewers. This movie is one of the best films of the year and one the best films this decade.
4 out of 5
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