For Reel

Paterson (2016)
October 23, 2016, 11:22 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Jim Jarmusch
5 Stars
patersonTo most filmmakers, patterns and routines are the stuff of nightmares—the signs that one’s life has been wasted, signifying a never-ending daily grind defined by repetition and drudgery. In Paterson, though, patterns are key to the film’s beauty. The eponymous bus driver (Adam Driver) is essentially destined to relive the same day over and over (not unlike Groundhog Day‘s Phil), but he seems okay with that. He’s content and pleasant, turning to poetry not as an escape from his daily life but as a compliment to it. In fact, his job seems to only fuel his art—the small bits of conversation he hears on the bus routinely pique his curiosity, meeting them with an inquisitive smile. Paterson plays unlike any of Jim Jarmusch’s other films if only because of Paterson’s contentment, but it nonetheless foregrounds the director’s maintained focus on authenticity. Despite the colorful cast of characters Jarmusch has brought to the screen so far, Paterson might be his most profound glimpse into what it means to be an artist, and more specifically how to bring that art into harmony with the everyday grind.

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