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Film Review: Gravity of Poetic Dreams Carry Weight in ‘Paterson’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – What is more ordinary than a man alone with his thoughts, and then applying those thoughts to paper in the form of poetry? “Paterson” is a celebration of such ritual, and other dreams in the working class. It never panders, it never makes the “hero” that heroic, but it does challenge him in an ordinary sense, to work it out as meaningful poetics.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

This is a quiet and low-keyed film, directed by independent icon Jim Jarmusch (“Broken Flowers”), but it resonates with the power of words and purpose. The main character is a bus driver, but his status in life is not determined by what he does, but how he lives. He is devoted to his wife, who also dreams – not of words, but in the ideal of finding her passion in life. This is a concise character study that fires on emotions and intellectual stimulation, not because the persons in the film are smarter or more attached to their feelings, but because they keep striving to understand what to do with this short porch of a lifetime.

Paterson (Adam Driver) is a bus driver in Paterson, New Jersey. Between runs, and in his free time, he writes poetry based on his every day observations. His wife Laura (Golshifteh Farahani) is somewhat of a dreamer, and fixates on various activities that will advance her evolution (guitar playing, baking, decorating). They live a content but yearning middle class existence.

Laura is always trying to convince Paterson to publish his poetry, and that time is getting close for him as well. The rest of the film follows Paterson’s day-by-day activities…his job, the bar he hangs out at and his meditative observations, always ripe for verse. Even as his dog Marvin changes his life with a single act, Paterson finds a way toward his destiny.


”Paterson” continues its limited release in Chicago on January 20th. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Nellie, Rizman Manji, Barry Shabaka Henley and Masatoshi Nagase. Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Paterson”

Pater1
An Exact Change: Adam Driver is The Title Character in ‘Paterson’
Photo credit: Bleecker Street Media

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Paterson”

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