Adam Driver plays the title character, a bus driver with a penchant for poetry, in Paterson, writer-director Jim Jarmusch’s latest.
Not only is his name Paterson; he lives in Paterson, N.J., and he sets his folded clothes out every night so he’s good to go in the morning. His wife, Laura (Golshifteh Farahani), aspires to be a country music singer, and eagerly awaits a new guitar the couple can barely afford. (Sadly, she can’t play the guitar.) The film offers no substantial plot; it’s simply a snapshot of a normal, pleasant life being led by two people who aspire to create art in their spare time.
Jarmusch always does well with these sort of observational stories, and this is no exception. Driver is terrific here, capping a great year that included Midnight Special and a great performance in the muddled Silence. It’s a funny, sweet performance without him really trying to be funny or sweet.
The big events in this movie consist of Paterson taking his bulldog for a walk and meeting a fellow young poet who makes him feel insubstantial. If you love Jarmusch, you will love this movie.
Paterson opens Friday, Jan. 20, at the Palm Desert 10 Cinemas (72840 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-340-0033).