Paterson Review – Surprising, A Solid Story With Strong Performances

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Paterson, from Amazon Studios and Bleecker Street Media, presents the story of a couple on the path to finding the next chapter in life as routine sets in, dreams are lost until catastrophe moves or derails the dream.

Directed and written by Jim Jarmusch, Paterson stars Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Barry Shabaka Henley, Rizwan Manji, and Masatoshi Nagase with Nellie the dog as Marvin.

Paterson begins in Paterson, New Jersey, with Paterson, played by Adam Driver, a bus driver for the New Jersey Transportation Authority on the local route in Paterson, NJ. As we come to learn throughout the film, Paterson is the birthplace of quite a few celebrities.

Meeting Paterson, we find he is a poet, or feels he is and the jumble of words that run through his mind as he listens to the passengers engaged in routine conversations over trivia, simple Jeopardy information adds nuggets of wisdom and potential reservoirs to extract his poetry analogies as he writes, free form in a journal, poetry of a forgotten era.

Paterson has a routine, and the film, lives the routine as we meet his adoring wife, Laura, played by Golshifteh Farahani, who remains the constant force behind their hopes for the future. She is a stay at home wife and over the course of the seven days in which we are allowed access to Paterson’s world we find she has a new idea, a brainstorm that will propel them beyond the current monotony.

At the end of Paterson’s day, every day he and Marvin, the family dog, go for a walk. Around the corner, the two walk until they reach a local pub. Marvin, the dutiful dog, is forced to wait outside, while Paterson sits with Doc, played by Barry Shabaka Henley, and has a beer.

The two men talk on life and each night the routine remains a constant with minor deviations, the couple down the street are facing difficulties, Doc's wife comes in, nothing unforeseen or unpredictable. Life in Paterson is routine.

The next day we are greeted by his wife’s newest idea that will get them to a place of financial security. The bus job pays well and it is a solid employment, unions and all the benefits. It is just routine.

Laura is an artist and her life revolves around her husband and her quest for the next chapter to their lives. She is a country music sensation, an artist, a cupcake queen. Her ideas tap the vein of modern society and quite honestly speak to the American Idol generation. The idea that the common, unconnected person, can really make it by hitting one of these cords.

We learn through the film beat poet Allen Ginsberg the author of “Howl” is also from Paterson. A beat poet also Paterson fashions himself after the beat poets of the 1960’s  free form word choices. His poetry effort almost becomes a distraction until he meets a child who also understands the free form use of words, analogies, and nature to create beauty.

Paterson has a mini-earthquake in his life. After a successful day, he is faced with a challenge due in part from his own refusal to modernize and this becomes the catalyst for his final soul searching moment which is aided by an unknown Japanese tourist, played by Masatoshi Nagase, who speaks life to his dreams that had flat lined.

The scene also revolves around the American poet William Carlos Williams who published an epic poem titled Paterson, in five volumes, over a twelve-year period.

As the angst of creatively becomes obvious in our Paterson, as we see the Poets born in Paterson, New Jersey attracts strangers from around the world who come and sit in the park, stare at the pristine waterfall, contemplate the beauty of nature and sit and ponder their fate, hoping the familiarity of seeing the same inspirational markers will tap the creative wellspring within their heart and soul.

I really liked Paterson after my interpretation, which may be different than others, began to take shape.

At first, I thought Paterson was just another movie on a bad marriage. Boring routine, tedious expectation, putting one’s dreams on hold and even to a lesser degree small unnecessary chatter, pleasantries about nothing.

Then, it changed and I don’t know where or why, it wasn’t that the routines were driving me crazy, it was the routine represented the trenches, working through the dreariness, the predictability to get to the next level.

Having lived in New Jersey, seeing a film that works and revolves around a bus driver/poet in Paterson, New Jersey is on the surface almost impossible and then again, what makes it work is the idea that everyone desires more and we’re all on some sort of road to enlightenment.

Taking Paterson as an analogy of the path, where nothing is what it seems on the surface and even the surface works for some, for me the surface is the representation of a deeper meaning.

Fortunately, the film moves away from the single aspect of poetry, not that I dislike the notion of poetry, I felt more like it was almost a mockery of the art of poetry.

Adam Driver captures the essence of the creatively challenged poet. All that is missing is a turtleneck cable knit sweater and he is a beat generation poet. His angst is very real, as is his belief, without giving away an integral plot point, that he must maintain his work simply.

Golshifteh Farahani a butterfly to Driver’s steady, reliability, she embodies the searching, dedicated wife.

With Barry Shabaka Henley, our local pub owner, whose many credits include television and film and one may remember him as the Jazz Club owner, opposite Tom Cruise, and Jamie Foxx, in Collateral, once again plays a versatile every man.

Paterson, a contemporary love story, with character driven performances, has all the twists, pitfalls and hopes of everyday life and delivers.

Paterson opens December 28, 2016 in select cities and everywhere soon after.

Haute Tease

  • Five Promising AFI Conservatory Graduates Win Awards For Thesis Work From The AFI Community Of Supporters

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The American Film Institute (AFI) awarded grants to five 2014 AFI Conservatory graduates for excellence in their thesis work. The recognition and cash awards further propel these artists into their careers as some of the nation's promising storytellers.

  • Sycamore Pictures Taps Academy Award® Winner Geoffrey Fletcher For Civil Rights Feature "I Am A Man"

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Sycamore Pictures announced today that Academy Award® Winner Geoffrey Fletcher has signed on to pen I Am a Man, which is based on Michael K. Honey's book, Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign.   

  • Three Things to Consider When Buying Jewelry

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The right piece of jewelry can make or break your outfit. A stunning necklace can make even the blandest outfit look sophisticated. Yet, that doesn’t mean you should throw on any old necklace you have lying around.  

  • Beltway Insider: Biden, Justice, Climate, COVID/Vaccine Totals, India, Armenia, MARS, Walter Mondale

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Biden maintained a steady pace through the first 94 days addressing international relations, rebuilding the global climate initiative, acknowledging the genocide in Armenia, easing Iranian sanctions, pandemic reintegration, and the swell of racial injustice.

  • Wrath of Man Review – A Fast Action Adrenaline Rush

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Wrath of Man, from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, brings to the screen a gritty, action revenge thriller, that pits a one-man killing machine, as he seeks to avenge the murder of his son, against a group of hardened mercenaries.

  • Bouillon de Culture

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    L'apparition et la propagation du coronavirus dans le monde ont également soulevé des questions sur les origines du virus et en particulier sur le rôle du réchauffement climatique et de la mondialisation, car la Chine nie désormais la responsabilité de l'épidémie.