Director: Jim Jarmusch
Screenwriters: Jim Jarmusch based on his poem, Little Girl’s Poem, William Carlos Williams based on his poem, This Is Just To Say and Ron Padgett based on his poems, Love Poem, Glow, Poem and Pumpkin.
Runtime: 118 mins.
Australian release date: 26 December 2016
Paterson (Adam Driver) is a poetry-writing bus driver who sticks to a rigid daily routine. This includes straightening up his letterbox every day when he arrives home from work and going to the pub for one beer every night, leaving his dog Nellie (in her scene-stealing debut performance), tethered outside. Life seems pretty mundane in Paterson, New Jersey, which is also the lead character’s name and the title of Jim Jarmush’s latest film, which is based on a number of poems.
He lives with his adoring wife Laura (Golshifteh Farahani), who’s obsessed with decorating their home and her clothing with black and white designs. The couple has a very loving relationship which simmers along nicely - but does this quiet observation of the ups and downs of everyday life hide a level of anxiety beneath its surface? Or is Paterson (the bus driver not the town) recovering from the effects of his wartime service in the Middle East? Does he represent those US American soldiers who return from war and desperately try to fit back into a society that cannot relate to their experiences?
You’ll need to read between the lines of Paterson’s poetry to discover what lies beneath. Paterson is a gem and one of the best films released over the holiday season. All hail writer/director Jim Jarmusch, the master of ‘cool’.