As the extremely withdrawn Don Johnston is dumped by his latest woman, he receives an anonymous letter from a former lover informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. A freelance sleuth neighbor moves Don to embark on a cross-country search for his old flames in search of answers.
Two innocent people are arrested. An interesting third person, with broken English, joins them in their cell. On his idea, they decide to escape from the prison. Their journey is the rest of the movie.
Exactly one week in the life of a young man named Paterson of Paterson, New Jersey is presented. He lives an extremely regimented and routinized life, that routine perhaps most vividly displayed by the fact that he is able to wake up at exactly the same time every day without an alarm. That life includes eating Cheerios for breakfast, walking to work carrying his brown bag lunch packed in his lunch pail by his wife Laura, having a casual chat with his colleague Donny before he begins his shift driving the #23 Paterson bus for the local public transit company, walking home where he straightens out the exterior mailbox which somehow during the day gets knocked crooked, eating dinner with Laura and listening to her goings-on of the day, taking Laura's English bulldog Marvin - who he would admit to himself he doesn't much like - out for a walk to his neighborhood bar where he has one and only one beer before walking home with Marvin. There are day to day variations which are often the ...Written by
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 »
After Paterson has come home on the first Monday, there is a shot of Laura adjusting the curtains she had just decorated. She then walks into the kitchen. There's a shot of
Paterson sitting down on the couch, and the very next shot is her back at the curtains, this time admiring them. She would've had to be very fast to get all the way back to the curtains in time. See more »
You love somebody, more than anything in the whole damn world. You... worship her. You don't wanna be *alive* without her, and... she says she doesn't want you. You're just... dirt.
Damn brother! You should be an actor.
I am... an actor.
[Paterson turns his head away and tries not to laugh]
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Saw Paterson at the Vancouver Film Festival today and enjoyed to a certain point, while becoming a bit tired of some of its cuter elements (such as the bus driver poet's decorating girlfriend) and the modernist or minimalist pace, which grows contrived in the repetition of both routine days and quirky features. The film is a tribute to Paterson, NJ's famous poet, William Carlos Williams and to the notion of celebrating reality by recording it in a faithful, painterly fashion without embellishment or sermonizing.
If you don't demand a lot of action or forward motion you are more likely to enjoy this film as a kind of modernist poem in itself. You have a cute grumpy dog to entertain you, an idealized love relationship to wonder about, and some complete red herrings such as omnipresent twins to distract you from the static still-life character of the film.
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