Every day, Paterson adheres to a simple routine: he drives his daily route, he writes poetry into a notebook; he stops in a bar and drinks exactly one beer; he goes home to his wife, Laura. By contrast, Laura's world is ever changing. New dreams come to her almost daily. The film quietly observes the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details.
A truly wonderful film. Probably Jarmusch's best since Stranger than Paradise. I can't say that definitively, though, because I have a hard time with his films and haven't watched them all. Jarmusch's films are generally meditative to a fault, I think. But this film: Amazing. It's an observant piece about a bus driver who writes poetry. Fittingly, the film itself is poetry. It's deceptively simple, and very moving. Adam Driver gives a stellar, nearly heartbreaking performance.
I liked this movie but I don't think it's for everyone and here's why. It's slow-moving. If you're one of those people who has to have action in every scene in a movie, this movie is going to frustrate you. But if you like a slower pace every now and then, and appreciate that everyone has a story to tell, then you may like Paterson. Set in Paterson, NJ, Paterson also happens to be the name of the main character portrayed by Adam Driver. Driver is also a bus driver. He's married to Laura who is the most optimistic woman in the world. She's a free spirit and artistic, is hooked on the colors black and white and firmly believes her husband is a poet. Paterson actually works on his poetry, making entries in his secret book on a daily basis. The film simply goes through his routine every day: up and off to drive the city bus, mail box straight when he leaves the house, back home, mail box askew when he gets back home, takes dog for a walk, drinks one beer at Doc's bar. Speaking of which, the most drama is when veteran actress, Johnnie Mae, who portrays Doc's wife, storms in and blesses Doc out for taking her cookie jar money, "Money that I was saving to maybe get my hair done to go to your damned niece's wedding!" Johnnie Mae was fabulous! Anyway, the point of Paterson is not that life has to be drama-filled every minute. Your life matters if you're a nice guy, just like Paterson is, and you give of yourself to others and cherish a dream or two while you're living here on this wonderful earth. I loved Paterson.