Paterson is likely one of those movies that critics will love more than audiences. Creative filmmaking takes precedence over a dynamic story as this film is about a week in the life of a New Jersey Busdriver who goes through life just like just your average everyday person. He wakes up early to do his day job, he returns home to his girlfriend and her annoying dog, and he occasionally drops by a nearby bar to talk to the locals. That’s pretty much the story in a nutshell. Outside of the main character’s love for writing poetry, the film is a simple character study of a man whose poetry has more character than his persona.
My complaint is that Adam Driver sometimes plays his character so robotic that he barely feels like a real person. Now I understand this is done by design but the audience may find the portrayal boring if they do not accept the film’s artistic documentation of everyday life from the beginning. The film is great at incorporating conversations amongst random people and uses them as a storytelling arc. Jim Jarmusch, the writer, and director of the film excels at taking the most mundane aspects of human life and using them to tell a great story. Paterson is basically a poem in itself, a poem about love, life, passion, and ambition. I can’t sit here and say that everyone will enjoy this film the same way. What some people see as style, others will see as boring.
Much La La Land, film majors will love this film for what it represents in the art of filmmaking, but unlike La La Land, Paterson has an inspiring message and a heart-warming story to tell. Every life is a great story waiting to be told no matter how simple it is.