(spoiler free)

I’ve never seen a Jim Jarmusch film before, I had heard a lot of positivity about his previous film ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ though but it was only after seeing his latest effort ‘Paterson’ that I learnt that it was he who directed that. ‘Paterson’ focuses on Adam Driver’s character who is also called Paterson over the course of one week. His day job is a bus driver but it is writing poetry that is his real passion.

This film has a running time of two hours and unfortunately you feel every single minute of this due to it’s incredibly slow pace. The films narrative follows a day by day pattern with little change up over the week in which it is focused and as a result the film can become quite monotonous. There are some sporadic moments of variation in the story however, I can’t help but think these moments are more just a let up from the dull nature of the majority of the film. This is a film which I struggled to see the point of, maybe I just don’t understand poetry though. Paterson’s writing of this art features throughout the film and whilst I’ll admit some of his creations were strangely enjoyable to listen to others just left me completely baffled and I often wondered when does a collection of words actually become poetry? Somehow at times I found myself settling into the story though, it’s slow pace while sometimes making me internally scream of boredom also felt rather relaxing and on occasions the film features dialogue of mild intrigue. Though this is a narrative which won’t stimulate mainstream audiences.

Adam Driver, who is probably best known now for portraying Kylo Ren in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ plays the lead and title role here. It was nearly always down to his performance that I was able to appreciate the occasional relaxed tone to the film. His character is refreshingly chilled out in a world which seems to encourage the opposite. Talking about opposites, his onscreen girlfriend played by Golshifteh Farahani is anything but relaxing and makes for a striking contrast from Paterson, probably enhancing the likeability of the title character. The film is labelled as a comedy, however audiences should beware that this isn’t the outlandish, crude and over the top comedy present in most omniplex screened films but a more understated type of comedic flare. Although many people in the screening I watched the film with were letting out deep belly laughs I found the comedy included to be only amusing at best and I certainly would have welcomed some more of this to help get me through the film.

In the end this was kind of a nothing film for me. I struggle to see really where the entertainment value comes with ‘Paterson’. There is probably some artsy meaning to it all but the average Joe Bloggs like me just saw a bus driver who writes random poems and not a lot else. Unless you’re a fan of poetry or the director I wouldn’t reccomend this film.

Rating – 5.5/10

Question: What is your favourite Adam Driver performance?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)

Thanks for reading this review and please let me know what you thought about the movie! Leave a comment below or drop me a tweet over at @HCMovieReviews.


10 thoughts on “Paterson

    • I think from the outset I knew this wasn’t going to be a film for me. Some aspects were enjoyable but I can’t help feel that most of it went over my head. Cheers man, I look forward to reading a review if you publish one!

      • Totally understand what you mean though, like when I watched the trailer I thought hmm could be interesting but slow and from what you’ve said it’s exactly what I thought but I guess I’ll find out if plans stay the same. Thanks man.

    • Nice shout. For me that hasn’t been one of his most memorable roles but thinking back on it he was very good in that. The scene with him, Isaac & Timberlake in the recording booth is wonderful.

  1. Seen a lot of film journos raving about this so was really excited to see it. Glad it wasn’t just me who didn’t get it. Trying to write a review and there’s not a lot to say really. There’s nothing particularly bad going on here and I thought Driver was fantastic but I was so bored just waiting for something (anything) to happen.

    • Yes lad, so much truth in this haha. I’m like you in that I didn’t think anything was bad but I can’t help but feel that the level of content here would be much better suited to a short film. For me anyway there just wasn’t enough material to warrant a feature length running time. It has only made me love Adam Driver even more though, which for sure shows the strength of his acting haha.

  2. I enjoyed reading your review even though I dont agree with your conclusions. I also left the cinema feeling like I had spent too much time on a slow moving train to nowhere, but that is style of jarmusch in most of his films. For me this is a whimsical essay into the ordinariness of human existence. As I say in my own review: It is devoid of regular cinematic artifice and feels like we have momentarily glimpsed into the inner space of a true gentle soul and can walk away the better for it. Sorry you did not like it, but I wouldnt dismiss it too quickly.

    • Thank you, it takes a certain maturity to do that, it’s appreciated! I quite like your thoughts on the film I just don’t think this was stimulating enough to warrant the running time. Glad you enjoyed it.

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