Movie Review – Paterson (2016)

JulieGSeptember 10, 2020110 min
Paterson Movie Poster Imp Awards
Originally published on The Broken Quill
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10 R |1h 58min | Comedy, Drama | 17 Nov 2016 (Germany) | Movie Metacritic: 90/100 – Must See Critically Acclaimed Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 96% Certified Fresh (Critics), 72% Fresh (Audiences) Director: Jim Jarmusch Writer: Jim Jarmusch, William Carlos Williams, Ron Padgett Stars: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Movie Tagline: “If you ever left me I’d tear my heart out and never put it back “ IMDb summary:  A quiet observation of the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details. My partner asked if we could re-watch Paterson, which surprised me. Surprised because Paterson is a film that requires a fair bit of attention. It’s not one of those films where you can miss 10 minutes and still know what’s going on. I don’t know if that is how it was intended to be, but watching Paterson for the second time, I noticed little things that just carried so much weight in the film without even realising it before. I’ll give examples of these things later on, but if Paterson were a book, you’d discover a lot more about the film by reading between the lines. I cannot hide my fondness for both Jim Jarmusch as a director and Adam Driver as an actor. To me, this pairing is a gift to film, much like De Niro and Scorsese. You just know that there’s something special there, and it’s raw, and it’s beautiful, and we’re lucky to witness it on screen. Jim Jarmusch’s previous film Only Lovers Left Alive is also a movie I have high regard for, and it was this film that introduced me to Jarmusch’s genius. Adam Driver’s character is Paterson, which also is the name of the town where the film is set. In its own way, the city of Paterson is as much a part of this story as the principal actors. Paterson, in this sense, reflects the man Paterson – like twins are a genetic reflection of each other. There’s no other way to describe it. One of the recurring themes in the film is twins. They are seen almost everywhere in the movie as Paterson walks to work, drives his bus or walks home again. It becomes a lot more noticeable after a particular scene in the film, but I noticed none of this the first time I saw Paterson. And this is why rewatches are so useful to do – you really can pick up so much you miss the first time around. I find this is the case when I see a movie I have been looking forward to. I just can’t take everything in during the first viewing. I like to see movies like that a second time when I am calmer and more aware of what is happening in the film. I think a “review” is much easier to write when you’ve seen the film more than once. What’s so endearing about the character Paterson is how effortlessly he goes about his day-to-day, almost entirely void of stress and hindrances that seem to bring most other people down. One important thing to recognise about Paterson is the way he avoids technology –  almost to the point of being crippled by it. His wife is a creative, free-spirited woman who seems to polarise Paterson’s existence. She appears to be disorderly in the way she goes about living her life. She doesn’t have a job and spends most of her time coming up with a different life-goal to pursue every other day. I think this breaches Paterson’s wall of order and routine, but he never shows it. They love each other a great deal, despite their differing personalities and quirks. They are the epitome of compromise in a relationship. But the best thing about this film aside from the performances is the poetry. If you are a creative person, you’ll fall in love with how Jarmusch brings every poem to life with the imagery and perfect pacing of the film. Adam Driver’s narration doesn’t hurt either. Paterson is a film that will pleasantly take you by surprise. Let the words wash over you like rain, let the images seep into your skin. You’ll understand what I mean when it’s all over.  

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