First Hit: A wonderful sweet story placed on a beautiful backdrop of poetry.
It’s wonderful when an introspective innocent story like this unfolds itself in such a sweet way. Paterson (Adam Driver) is a bus driver in Paterson, New Jersey. He’s married to Laura (Golshifteh Farahani) a sweet, slightly quirky woman who paints everything black and white. The film painstakingly follows a week in their life beginning with Paterson waking up, without an alarm, every day between 6:05 AM and 6:30 AM.
Each day he affectionately kisses his wife has breakfast, walks to work, sits in the seat of the bus he’s going to drive, and starts writing a few lines of poetry. Paterson is a poet at heart and this film is filled with his beautiful writings. As each of the seven days unfold, narration is used to share the poetic lines he’s writing. Additionally, from time to time, the audience gets treated to an almost complete poem.
Director Jim Jarmusch had a clear vision of sharing Paterson and Laura’s life together and their love for each other. Creatively, Jarmusch shows each day with slight differences. The views of Paterson’s walk to work, his bus routes, his walking of the dog are all slightly altered, subtly different and interestingly the same.
Laura is a dreamer and hopes to open a cupcake store, or does she want to be a famous country music singer. She is a free spirit and although Paterson may balk at some of her actions, like painting the curtains or serving a cheese and Brussel spout pie, he loves her more than anything and it is easy to see why.
The situations on the bus, at home, in the local bar where the purveyor Doc (Barry Shabaka Henley) serves him his one beer each night, walking the bulldog, interactions with his dispatcher, and the many other scenes are painstakingly subtle, effortless and filled with a lot of information. The interaction with the young girl who wrote poetry was divine but it was the ending that made it all work.
Driver was amazing as Paterson. His internalization of the events of his life and expression through poetry was perfectly executed. Farahani was amazing as Paterson’s free spirited wife. Her support of Paterson’s writing and her own kookiness was incredibly enjoyable to watch. Henley as the bar tender was wonderful. His fear of his wife and acceptance of his patrons was perfect. Jarmusch wrote an amazing screenplay, that used poetry, a small town proud of its past residents, and deep subtle characters to create a very well-crafted film.
Overall: This movie was truly enjoyable to watch.