Paterson is a bus driver in the city of Paterson, New Jersey - they share the name. Every day, Paterson adheres to a simple routine: he drives his daily route, he writes poetry into a notebook; he stops in a bar and drinks exactly one beer; he goes home to his wife, Laura. By contrast, Laura's world is ever changing. New dreams come to her almost daily. The film quietly observes the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details.
Laura says she has the same name as Petrarch's wife (Petrarch was an Italian scholar and poet of the 14th century). Actually, Laura was the muse of Petrarch: she never was his wife and they actually had limited contacts, if any. See more »
It's made clear that Paterson doesn't own or use a cel phone, but when he has to borrow one, he dials it using his thumbs. A person not used to texting on a cel phone would use his index finger to dial. See more »
I owe Jarmusch a debt of gratitude for being a formative figure in shaping my cinematic tastes. I shall never forget watching Stranger Than Paradise (1984) in NY in the early 1980s: the novelty, joy, patient camera movement, the fantastic way of playing Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'I Put a Spell on You' throughout the soundtrack. I have seen most of Jarmusch's movies ever since and more than three decades later, Paterson did not disappoint. Jarmusch is as creative as ever, gifting us with a wonderful film. The set is Paterson N.J., the protagonists are a bus driver also named Patterson and his artistically creative spouse. Paterson writes poetry, reads poetry, and encounters poetry wherever he goes and whoever he meets. This is it. And it is as engaging, uplifting, funny, and as insightful as a film can be. Patterson may be watched as a homage. It delicately portrays a particular place, Paterson New Jersey, reminding us that a place, any place, is always a product of the way its present mixes up with its past, of the way people both walk it and remember it. But the film is not only a homage to a place, it is also a homage to daily life, to the mundanity of just going to work and having a drink after a day's work. One striking feature of this film is that there are no bad characters here, no evil spirits, no mean intentions. In fact the only mean character in the film is the protagonists' dog, but even the dog is not too bad, just a drag. And miraculously, in spite of this, the film is totality innocent of naiveté. As if at the hands of a gifted anthropologist, the camera curiously follows and watches, and the film never falls into anything resembling judgment and condescension. It is truly genius in its ability to draw us into the perspective of the protagonists, to embrace their feelings and movements, to empathize with them and to fall in love with their numerous small encounters. Remarkably, one of the achievements here is that the film feels and looks timeless. It could be shot in the 1950s, or the 1970s, and yet it makes no attempt to hide the fact that it has been shot only recently. Incidentally, Paterson makes a point about not having a mobile phone. It does wonders to the film and its ability to give homage. A truly uplifting film.
14 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?