Paterson goes to work everyday with his lunch pail, comes home, straightens the mailbox and listens with bemusement as his wife details her latest passion project. Playing the guitar one day, making monochrome dresses, curtains or cup cakes the next.
Taking his English Bulldog “Marvin” for a walk, he stops at the the local bar for one drink, one drink only. He comes home, goes to sleep and then we repeat, Monday thru Sunday.
In between we see the intricate details of Paterson’s daily life. The snatches of conversation on the bus, small elements of interest at the bar, wonderfully tended by “Doc” Barry Shabaka Henley. The ongoing feud with “Everett” and his on/mostly off girlfriend and Paterson’s boss detailing his own woes, highlights in a film with few to speak of.
Woven through this gossamer thin story are poems that Paterson pens, as he travels through his daily life. Written on the screen and then narrated, they do form a rhythm somehow in keeping with this slight yet bizarrely interesting tale.
So a film where nothing really happens, Laura never seems to work and is allowed to indulge her interests seemingly without interference from her husband. Surprisingly not as boring as it sounds, Driver has never been better, a world away from his blockbusting “Star Wars” role.
Iranian actress Farahani is luminous, innocent and certainly desirable enough to understand why Paterson is so bewitched by her charms. One might argue he is gently exploited but as evidenced in the delicately put together scenes, they clearly care for each other and the thought is banished. A couple with not much, yet seemingly happy in their own well defined “small” world.
You keep expecting explosive events, yet they never actually occur. Although there are a few slightly surreal moments where you are not sure if Paterson is just dreaming or actually meeting twins and obscure Japanese poets.
A “real” film, not for everyone but has a charm all of it’s own. It follows director Jim Jarmusch desire to tell stories where nothing much happens in the foreground but has deeper subtext if you choose to look.
Enjoyable and beautifully acted by the leads in a quiet film that will struggle for an audience.
Worth a look if you feel in the mood for a gentle film detailing elements of an everyday life most of us would recognize, especially the morning routine.