Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch (Broken Flowers, Dead Man)
Starring: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani
Star rating: 3/4
Paterson is a movie where I am frighteningly tempted to look at reviews before forming any kind of opinion on it myself. There’s a lot of symbolism, motif, ambiguity in this movie—what is writer-director Jim Jarmusch trying to say? What is Adam Driver trying to convey in his performance of an everyday bus driver? Part of me thinks the relationship between Adam Driver’s character, Paterson, and Golshifteh Farahani’s character, Laura, is soul-sucking and depressing. Then I have to consider that maybe I feel that way because it’s realistic. And maybe not even so bad, all things considering. Paterson makes me wonder why we even read poetry, makes me want to ride the bus, makes me want to eavesdrop on strangers’ conversations more. Though I may not understand all of Jarmusch’s subtlety (why were twins a recurring motif?), he wrote Laura to perfection. I thought she was annoying. Then I thought she was wonderful. I often wanted to leave Paterson’s perspective and jump to what she does all day (which seemed to be painting everything her “signature” aesthetic of black and white. Our noble and gentle protagonist, Paterson, angered me sometimes.Though, I am am undecided on whether or not that is a good thing. Adam Driver gave a solid performance, as always. Golshifteh was brilliant. No one else stood out to me that much, perhaps that was intentional, though. The repeated observations on life and relationships reminded me of Anomalisa, which I consider to be a sad movie. In terms of camera movement, I liked how the camera found interests in other conversations that weren’t main characters. It was like a little dash of Y Tu Mama Tambien.
Paterson is a 2016 “New Wave” film à la Godard or Truffaut. It searches for life in the humdrum. It’ll make you want to ride the bus. I dig.