Paterson: Film Review


Paterson has been highly praised since it competed at the Cannes Film Festival, and while I liked it and thought it was nice, I wouldn’t rave about it quite as highly as others have. After it finished, I had no real reaction to it and that makes writing a review kinda hard!

Adam Driver is Paterson, who lives in Paterson, New Jersey with his girlfriend Laura (Golshifteh Farahani) and their dog. He works as a bus driver and writes poetry and sticks to the same routine during the working week.

That pretty much sums it up because not much happens in Paterson at all but, like American Honey, it was full of wonderful moments I enjoyed. Director Jim Jarmusch is simply shining a light on an ordinary person and makes his mundane, monotonous life seem lovely and you can’t help but take an interest in him because he’s such a nice guy.

My problem was I was always expecting something more to happen. There were a lot of coincidences happening in Paterson’s life, for example he discussed twins with Laura and then he kept bumping into twins. I kept waiting for a big revelation that connected these dots and changed the game from something mundane to extraordinary but that never came. I felt like there might be some deeper meaning or metaphor I wasn’t getting but perhaps I’m trying to read too deeply into something that’s not supposed to be scrutinised so hard.

I think Driver is brilliant in everything and this is no exception.  He is wonderful and it’s nice to see him playing somebody generally positive and smiley after being known for his scowling, mean characters. Farahani was a great match and provided a lot of the comedy, although they were both outdone on that front by their bulldog Marvin. He is so, so hilarious.

Paterson is not as exciting as I wanted it to be but it’s not dry and boring like Certain Women. Even though his life is dull, you like him, want to watch him and are happy to look in on his daily routine for a week (even if it does get repetitive). It didn’t really go anywhere, which is a shame, and it could have done with a trim, but regardless of all that it is a pleasant watch with a stellar turn from Driver.

Originally seen as part of the 60th BFI London Film Festival. Released on Friday 

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