Paterson Review: A Poetic Piece of Life

Paterson Review: A Poetic Piece of Life

Paterson is a small gem of a film, a celebration if you will. A celebration of the everyday man living in everyday life, in which nothing happens. Now, if that turns you off then I completely understand. A film with no plot twist, heavy drama, or action set pieces. This is a movie that the working class man, and women and not only relate to but appreciate at the accurateness of normalcy.

We follow a bus driver from Paterson (Adam Driver)  Who also happens to be named, Paterson. He’s a perfectly content and happy man, with a wife he loves dearly (Golshifteh Farahani) and one of the cutest dogs in cinematic history, Marvin. Paterson loves poetry and is always writing in his secret notebook that he is afraid to share with others, even his wife.

That is the plot of Paterson. No cheap tricks or gimmicks, this is only spending a week with an ordinary man, who enjoys having a beer after work, walking his dog and writing poems.

Did I lose you yet? I hope not, because not only is Paterson a great film, it’s a refreshing one as well. While right in the heart of Oscar season, there are only so many deep, dark, and depressing films one can endure before going a little mad themselves. Paterson is a refreshing movie in the sense that it thrives on not having a “real plot,” or anything out of the ordinary happen (said for a series of twins Paterson keeps seeing after his wife had a dream about them having twins)

Adam Driver is fantastic as the subtle, introverted poet. Let’s face it, as soon as Driver appears in Star Wars, millions of people now know his face. You can easily watch any film or television series and go “oh hey, look that’s Kylo Ren!” Paterson does such a remarkable job at portraying normalcy that you forget you are watching an actor. You forget you see a performance that was written on paper as directed by Jim Jarmusch. Driver is so good, that you instantly forget that it’s Adam Driver playing a role, you are watching a man named Paterson simply living

When an actor can transform into a role, no matter how big or small said role is, he’s in a class of acting that has become an anomaly in today’s day and age. In fact, his acting is so good that you don’t even realize he’s acting. That’s the level of humanity Adam Driver brings to this indie gem.

The film works especially well for all those married folks out there. Little nuances and every day situations that a couple goes through are nailed perfectly. Laura, Paterson’s wife, makes a Brussel sprout and cheddar cheese pie (I know) and Drivers reaction to the not so tasty meal is one that anyone can resonate with.

There is no existential crisis going on within Paterson as a character. He is a genuinely content and nice person. There’s a scene in particular, in which Paterson asks to sit next to a young girl who is writing poetry, (and it doesn’t come off as creepy either) and the genuine empathy in Drivers subdued performance is extraordinary.

As an audience member, you feel like you are a part of the tight-knit community that is Paterson, New Jersey. You get to know co-workers, locals at the pub and understand what type of person they are just by looking at them. The world is a raw and real that it feels as if you are watching a documentary and not a film.

Asper issues, the pacing could’ve been a bit better. Don’t get me wrong, and I was never bored, and that’s surprising considering nothing happens. The film is so tiny and has so little to it that there isn’t a whole lot to dislike. But, in return, there’s nothing groundbreaking either.

Paterson is a simple film that you may or may not enjoy depending on the type of movie goer you are. This is an indie film lovers movie, which will probably come across boring for those seeking something more. To me, Paterson is a breath of fresh air filled with humor and heart and one of the best performances of Adam Drivers career, thus far.

Paterson opens on December 28th, 2016 in select theaters.


Written by
Nicholas Casaletto was born on February 7, 1988. Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. Nick was raised on Star Trek and other Science Fiction television shows and films inspired by his father. From a young age, Nicholas was hooked on story lines, characters, and plots and saw television and film different from most others. Nick would later get into more indie films and appreciate filmmaking as a craft. Today, Nick sees more films than ever at early screenings. He loves sharing his thoughts and getting into friendly debates about films. Nick is a movie critic as well as a content and opinion writer.

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