As the extremely withdrawn Don Johnston is dumped by his latest woman, he receives an anonymous letter from a former lover informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him.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
Some of the books visible in Paterson's basement are "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau, "Lunch Poems" by Frank O'Hara, "Paterson" and "The Collected Earlier Poems" by William Carlos Williams, "The Fall" by Albert Camus, "The Walk" by Robert Walser, "Double Indemnity" by James M. Cain, "Bambi" by Felix Salten, "Alone and Not Alone" and "Great Balls of Fire" by Ron Padgett, "The Collected Poems" by Wallace Stevens, "On the Great Atlantic Rainway: Selected Poems 1950-1988" by Kenneth Koch, "The Call of the Wild/White Fang" by Jack London, "Collected Poems, 1956-1987" by John Ashbery, "The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness" by Sy Montgomery, "In the Palm of Your Hand: A Poet's Portable Workshop" by Steve Kowit, "Selected Prose and Poetry" by Edgar Allan Poe, "Save the Last Dance for Satan" by Nick Tosches, "The New York Trilogy" by Paul Auster, "I Fought the Law: The Life and Strange Death of Bobby Fuller" by Miriam Linna & Randell Fuller, "Kill All Your Darlings: Pieces 1990-2005" by Luc Sante, "Gone Man Squared" by Royston Ellis, "This Planet is Doomed: The Science Fiction Poetry of Sun Ra" and "Prophetika Book One" by Sun Ra, "The Baltimore Atrocities" by John Dermot Woods, "Sweets and Other Stories" by Andre Williams, "Benzedrine Highway" by Charles Plymell, "I Remember" and "The Nancy Book" by Joe Brainard, "Monk" by Laurent de Wilde, "Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly, and the Making of the Modern Middle East" by Scott Anderson, "Consider the Lobster and Other Essays" and "Infinite Jest" by David Foster Wallace, "The Flowers of Evil" by Charles Baudelaire, "Up Above the World" by Paul Bowles, and "Amerika" by Franz Kafka. See more »
In one scene, Laura is shown painting designs on her clear shower curtains. When Paterson comes home that day, the shower curtains are white. See more »
You look a little drained. You were home a little late. Was your day okay?
Well, it was until the bus broke down.
The bus broke down? Was it dangerous?
No, it was just... it sputtered out. It was an electrical problem.
Electrical problem? Could it have exploded into a fireball?
No, no. It's just an old bus.
Well, I think they should get their best driver who's also a great poet a brand new bus. It's the least they could do.
City of Paterson? Not likely.
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From reflections in a puddle, cardinals singing, waterfalls, a harlequin guitar, shadows, designer cupcakes and more, the love of a creative and happy couple spills over the small town of Paterson, New Jersey. The ordinary becomes extraordinary. Paterson, who shares his name with the community at large, is a bus driver. The daily bus route takes him through the heart of town where Paterson overhears intriguing conversations, records observations in his notebook, generates poems and opens lunchbox surprises from his lovely and artistic wife, Laura. The couple's chemistry, expressed in kisses, constant conversation, cheer and trust, is remarkable. "She understands me really well," says Paterson. Lucky guy. Lucky girl. The attractiveness, talent, color and charm of Laura and Paterson is infused in everything they do including Paterson's nightly tavern visits, the plain yet peculiar meals they have together, waking up in the morning and walking the dog.
Even in all its outward simplicity, there is astonishing and wonderful depth to the film characters, scenes, themes and conversations. This artistic sensibility that is infused in everyday life, is something I loved so much about Japan and Paterson shows what this imaginative awareness looks like in small town North America. Truly there is inspiration and beauty everywhere. While the film delves into music, paintings and other mediums, its main artistic focus is on poetry. There are nods to the poetry of William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens and others. The poems Paterson comes up with in his jaunts around town are brilliant and beautiful. A box of Blue tip matches inspires, rather sparks, a love poem. A poem called Another One is about seeing other dimensions, which is what this incredible film encourages itself.
Paterson is delightfully layered with surprising wisdom, complexity, diversity and humor at every turn. Twins make appearances every so often, for example, to remind us of one of the film themes; there is always someone out there like us that matches our hearts, and we are never really alone. Articles and images on a tavern wall take us to other dimensions in time in an instant. The on-screen chemistry between actors Adam Driver (Paterson) and Golshifteh Farahani (Laura) is critical to the film, and they are more than up to the task. They are outstanding, alluring and entirely convincing. The compassion and charm of this film is unforgettable. It reminds us that love and splendor spring from the unlikeliest of places. Seen at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.
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