Paterson (Adam Driver) is a bus driver in the city of Paterson, New Jersey who adheres to a simple routine: he drives his daily route, observing the city as it drifts across his windshield and overhearing fragments of conversation swirling around him; he writes poetry into a notebook; he walks his dog; he stops in a bar and drinks exactly one beer; he goes home to his wife, Laura (Golshifteh Farahani). By contrast, Laura's world is ever-changing. New dreams come to her almost daily. Paterson loves Laura and she loves him. He supports her newfound ambitions. She champions his gift for poetry.
The film quietly observes the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details. William Carlos Williams, who wrote the epic poem “Paterson,” is a touchstone, as are the poets Wallace Stevens and Frank O'Hara. But director Jim Jarmusch (last seen onscreen at the Belcourt with GIMME DANGER) is, as always, very much his own artist, and his unique voice is articulated through Driver and Farahani's note-perfect performances. This Zen-like master has done it again, providing us with an offbeat meditation on the couple and their desire for creative self-expression.
See also: Director Spotlight: 3x Verhoeven / 2x Jarmusch, which includes screenings of Jim Jarmusch’s STRANGER THAN PARADISE and DEAD MAN.
“Like many of Jarmusch's best films, this keeps surprising us with its minimal, witty inflections, at once epic and small-scale.” —Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
“An unfeasibly charming film full of little wisdoms and quiet comforts where we might expect to find provocations, its only deception is that it is so much richer than it seems at first glance...Possibly the smallest film ever to make poets of us all.” —Jessica Kiang, The Playlist
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