Paterson (2016): Movie Review

Paterson (2016)

dir. Jim Jarmusch

written by: Jim Jarmusch

starring: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani


Jim Jarmusch’s meditation on the poetic nature of humanity seemed pretentious and trying, and it’s classification as a comedy added additional raised eyebrows. Preconceived notions were dashed with the smooth, effortless delivery of a man managing contentedness with inspiration. Paterson is the story of a man in Paterson, NJ, named Paterson (Adam Driver) and his love of poetry. Layers thrive in this film, surrounding the title character’s single-minded passion for poetry and the micro chaos constantly surrounding the world outside his notebook.

A bus driver by trade, he steals away for moments of contemplation, parsing love poems for his incessantly inspired, aspiring musician/baker/artist/whatever-she’s-feeling-today girlfriend Laura (Golshifteh Farahani, restraining the unrestrained woman in her character). Adam Driver steps away from his usual jaded millennial motif. Unconcerned with expand upon the comfortable niche he has wound, he is unchallenging in his behavior with an introspective elegance to his demeanor. Whether parsing a poem or maligning the existence of his English bulldog Marvin, Driver sips on the moments of his day, filing the rhythm and nuance in daily conversations for creating a portrait of humanity without insulting their privacy.

Jim Jarmusch commonly breaches the quieter moments related to art. The music meditation in Only Lovers Left Alive permitted a humanized view of the vampiric Swinton and Hiddleston. Here, he exemplifies the humor in repetition and the cadence of dialogue, and Driver glides through his daily paces with passivity, searching for a moment of insight in a world that makes no earthly sense. It’s been weeks since I’ve seen the movie–thanks to a political climate that has sunk me into a focusless depression–but the peace of this movie, particularly Driver’s performance, stays with me as a breath of relief from a hectic time.


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