Paterson (2016)
October 4, 2018 10:18 AM - Subscribe

A week in the life of a bus driver and poet named Paterson, and his supportive wife Laura.

Glenn Kenny at
The new movie written and directed by Jim Jarmusch is a total fantasy. This in spite of being shot on the streets of the New Jersey city in which it is set, and for which the movie itself and its lead character are named. It’s as much of a fantasy as Jean Cocteau’s “Orpheus,” another great film about a poet that was at least partially set in the “real” contemporary world. It’s maybe not as much of a fantasy as the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
Josh Larsen:
The central couple in Paterson share a small life, but it’s abundantly full. You could say the same thing about the movie. This is a modest effort from writer-director Jim Jarmusch, yet one that is so rich in humor and feeling that the film feels as if it might burst.
Eric Kohn
Small exchanges and lengthy pauses are hallmarks of Jim Jarmusch movies, but few have the profound mixture of warmth and melancholy found in “Paterson.” Carried by an appropriately low-key Adam Driver and Jarmusch’s casual genius for capturing offhand remarks, “Paterson” is his most absorbing character study since “Broken Flowers” — and far more grounded in real life. There’s no context necessary to recognize it as his most personal work.
posted by octothorpe (7 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Oh, I love this movie. Quintessential "mature" Jarmusch movie for me. There was one point where I worried that it was going to get very dark, and... it didn't. I thought it treated Laura's capricious nature with respect too, instead of just "look at this wacky womanchild and her crazy whims," which young Jarmusch could fall into from time to time. Quiet human ups and downs, and so zen after Marvin did the bad thing.

And Ron Padgett's poetry! Ah.
posted by queensissy at 5:05 PM on October 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

It was a movie that's more about what didn't happen than what did. I was so nervous through a lot of it thinking that some of the more obvious "drama" would happen and then none of it did. I know that's a weird recommendation but I do get tired of movies that have to invent some conflict or tragedy just because they think that we need that in a story.
posted by octothorpe at 7:12 PM on October 4, 2018 [4 favorites]

I didn't recognize him after 27 years, but the actor who plays the Japanese poet at the end of Paterson is Masatoshi Nagase, who was half of the Japanese couple in Jarmush's Mystery Train. There's no indication that he plays the same character, but he's also on a cultural pilgrimage, with US poets replacing US bluesmen, and his Paterson character gets to meet a US poet while his Mystery Train character met a night clerk played by Screamin' Jay Hawkins. There's nothing much to it (no Jim Jarmush Cinematic Universe) but it's part of the little things that make Jarmush movies so lovable.
posted by elgilito at 4:22 PM on October 5, 2018 [5 favorites]

I really liked this movie. I thought Adam Driver's performance was nuanced and subtle, and although I saw the plot twist coming, it didn't spoil it for me.
posted by essexjan at 7:30 AM on October 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm glad you posted this!

I really liked the quiet feeling, the watching the world feeling. That resonated with me very deeply, the poet eye (not that I'm a poet, but just the quiet seeing of the world's little beautiful things, little funny things, odd patterns, like twins for example). I also appreciated that Laura was quirky but not a MPDG. She was just a person with her own weird interests and emotions.

I wouldn't say I loved it but I'm not sure why I didn't. But I enjoyed it very much and would like to see more, smallish movies like this.
posted by latkes at 7:09 AM on October 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

My wife and I (especially my wife) really like how this movie validates the essential idea that anyone and everyone can make art. And probably should. And that art is ephemeral, and so worth doing anyway. And that love is ephemeral, and essential too.
posted by conscious matter at 11:59 AM on October 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

“Excuse me?”

- “AHA!”
posted by growabrain at 2:32 PM on April 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

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