Skip to main content

Paterson (2016)

Source
Jim Jarmusch's Paterson is a difficult story to explain.  Scratch that... it's a simple story to explain:  Adam Driver plays a bus driver called Paterson who lives and works in Paterson, New Jersey and writes poetry in his spare time.  It's a difficult story to sell: There isn't a whole lot else that happens.  We follow this everyman as he wakes up, eats the smallest bowl of cheerios I've ever seen, go to work, walk his dog, and go to a local bar for a drink.  And then we him do it again. And again... And I loved every minute of it.

That not a whole lot of note happens by way of plot means that this isn't a film for everyone, and my only complaint is that it will probably have very little replay value.  It may be that I connected with the character and story because of where I am in my life but I feel Driver is one of those faces in film you can't help but connect with.  His star is certainly rising right now, and I'm really looking forward to seeing him in Martin Scorsese's upcoming Silence.  Him and the supporting cast are excellent in Paterson, and the conversations so real that I often felt a bit embarrassed for listening in and intruding in their world.  Paterson has a monotonous routine and daily grind I, and many others watching should be able to relate to sometimes.  I found the film's continuous search for the beauty around us uplifting, heartwarming and funny.  The film highlights the small moments of beauty, the aspects in life that jump out and pass the time of day, breaking from the monotony.  Shots lingered on the city streets, greenery, water features and sunlight as Paterson drives his bus round it.  It's worth pausing to drink in the world around us every now and again.


Image result for paterson
Source
Paterson interacts with lots of different people as he goes about his days.  His wife is an optimist with a fresh dream every morning, and his bartender friend is always available for a catch up but the bustling city hides multiple people with a lot to offer too.  Two laborers discussing women on his bus.  A rapper rehearsing in a launderette.  A girl writing poetry as she waits for her mum.  Each are as real and interesting as the last if given the opportunity.  Saying that, the idyllic city of Paterson did seem to set unrealistic expectations of a friendly and approachable public - the contrast to reality was certainly hit home for me when a guy dumped his unwanted coleslaw in to my basket at the supermarket on the way home from the cinema.  That isn't to say I didn't enjoy the sentiment at the time though.  The film's city setting was bustling with people happy to express themselves creatively and feed their passions, and scenes are interspersed with Paterson putting pen to paper and screen, writing poetry on his everyday observations.  It may be writing poetry in between bus journey legs, learning guitar, making cupcakes, or typing words about films you have seen, but those passions and goals can often help stop the days from blurring.  Sometimes watching a film can do that, and this funny look at the world many of us live in did exactly that for me.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Manchester by the Sea (2017)

If there is one way to get me giddy for a film, it’s having Friday Night Lights' very own Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) in it.  Although other fans of one of the greatest TV shows ever may also be hoping for a 2 hour Chandler motivational speech, that isn't how Manchester by the Sea pans out.  Instead Kenneth Lonergan (who writes and directs) has created a deeply moving and realistic look at grief, family and loss.  A comedy it ain't, but Manchester by the Sea was a film I could have watched for another 5 hours so attached was I to it's characters and story.  It's subject matter makes it a difficult sell, but I really hope this finds an audience as it was an enthralling piece of work.

The story is a difficult one to tell while avoiding certain spoilers, but I think that is important so as not to lessen the impact of particular scenes.  Essentially, Manchester by the Sea is about Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) - a man forced to care for his nephew (Lucas Hedges) followi…

Baby Driver (2017)

Shaun of the Dead (2004) is somehow one of my favourite ever comedies, as well as making it on to my list of favourite ever horror films.  Hot Fuzz (2007) is brilliantly funny too (always thought it would make a great cinema double bill with Bigelow's Point Break, the 1991 thriller from which it took a lot of inspiration), but I don’t remember reacting to The World’s End (2013) in anyway near the same way.  While the first two in Wright’s ‘Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy’ heavily referenced films I knew very well to comedic effect, I remember thinking that I would find The World’s End funnier when I’m older… so its terrifying to think that soon may be the time to give that another go.  I'm a huge fan of Edgar Wright’s snappy style and cuts, and there’s actually a great analysis of his visual comedy which I recommend checking out here.  After he backed out of doing Marvel's Ant-Man in 2015, the release of Baby Driver crept up on me a bit this year.  Had I known one of the m…

My Best Films of 2017 So Far - 6 Month Review

As is now a famous Philhelm Scream tradition (ie. I’ve done it once before, last year), approaching the half-way point of the calendar year feels a suitable time to take stock and rank some films. After what was an incredible strong Oscar year, there’s a good showing of the nominees here seeing as each received a January release here in the UK. Fingers crossed July – Dec is just as good!

10. Hidden Figures
I thought it was a bit of a shame Hidden Figures (along with 2016's Hell or High Water) slipped under the best Picture radar a bit this year, while the incredibly dull Lion (2017) and Dev Patel’s hair seemed to get a lot more coverage. The story of the first ever black female employee at NASA, and the struggles she faced to get there was told really well. It’s a proper fist pump of a story, and doesn’t get too bogged down in the boring number crunching that it could so easily have done. The leading trio of Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe and Octavia Spencer are each brilliant…