• Paterson

    Released By: Universal
    Released On: April 4, 2017.
    Director: Jim Jarmusch
    Cast: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Barry Shabaka Henley, Cliff Smith, Chasten Harmon
    Year: 2016
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    The Movie:

    Paterson (Adam Driver) is a bus driver in the New Jersey city that he shares his name with. Each day, he wakes up, kisses his wife Laura (Golshifteh Farahani), and walks to work, where he picks up his bus and begins his day of driving people around the city. Occasionally, he listens to their conversations and appears to live vicariously through them, and, inspired by late local poet William Carlos Williams, scrawls down poems in a notebook that he carries with him. Each night, he walks his English bulldog Marvin down to the corner bar, and leaves the pooch tied up outside while he sits inside to drink a single beer in the company of bartender, Doc (Barry Shabaka Henley), and then heads back home.

    Not much changes from day to day for Paterson, with the exception of a rare bus breakdown, and that appears to be the way the mild-mannered bus driving poet prefers things. Laura, on the other hand, is constantly finding inspiration around her, taking on new tasks like learning to play the guitar, baking dozens of unique cupcakes, ostensibly with the intention of becoming independently successful. Paterson dresses down, with dull colours and regular, unassuming clothing; Laura is obsessed with the sharply contrasted black and white attire in wild and crazy patterns. Different as they are, however, Paterson encourages her in her ventures, and she in turn praises his poems and insists that he attempt to publish them.

    Still, Paterson is content to carry out his daily routine, having his nightly beer with Doc in front of the Paterson Wall of Fame; Doc's collection of posted newspaper clippings and publicity photos related to the city. Paterson native Dave Prater has a spot on the wall, as does famed comedian Lou Costello. Once in awhile, there's a bit of excitement at Doc's, but for the most part, it's just quiet bar talk about Doc's chess game, or Paterson's bus. Monday turns to Tuesday, and so on; and Paterson continues to peacefully live out his peaceful existence.

    And, there you have it. This is Jarmusch's film, Paterson, which is probably a little more meaningful if you live in Paterson, New Jersey, or are familiar with William Carlos Williams. For the rest of us, myself included, Paterson is two of hours of not much at all. There are no twists...there is no action. Paterson the film slowly moves along, a week in the life of a man and his wife and their dog, and their various interactions. It's not a letdown of a film by any means, I thought as I waited to see where Jarmusch was taking us, and the end is strangely satisfying, not in a, "Eureka!" type of way, but more of a, "Huh." The acting is fine, here; Driver is a curious character, but I couldn't tell you exactly why, just that as a viewer, we're compelled to want to know a bit more, and tidbits like a framed picture of Paterson in military dress are small-scale rewarding; and although Farahani comes dangerously close to Bruce Willis' pot belly-obsessed annoying girlfriend in Pulp Fiction, her enthusiasm provides a complimentary dynamic. Jarmusch does have an eye for beauty as well, capturing the urban environment and the nature equally adeptly, giving Paterson a lovely aesthetic that utilizes the setting as a character.

    Still, what does it all mean? Who knows? Maybe Jarmusch. What can be safely said is that this movie is either going to be loved, or taken as I did with a shrug and a raised eyebrow...or it's going to mightily piss people right the Hell off. I'm still trying to figure out what I just watched. I dunno.


    Paterson comes to Universal Blu-Ray (with additional DVD and HD Download) in an AVC-encoded 1.85:1 transfer that looks great and captures the charm of Paterson perfectly. Lots of detail is present here, and night scenes reflect this more than adequately as well. Colours are well represented, though the film does maintain an autumn palette for the majority of the running time, blacks are deep and solid, and there are no visual issues to speak of.

    English audio is provided courtesy of a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track with optional English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. This is the very definition of tasteful, with the majority of the sound being front and centre...this is not an action flick...with the occasional effect or piece of score showing up in the surrounds. Well-balanced, it does its job without getting carried away, and lacks distortion, hisses, and other audio defects.

    There are no supplements on this disc.

    The Final Word:

    Paterson is an oddball of a film that will not be to everyone's fancy. The film looks and sounds great here, but the lack of supplements are a disappointment.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Matt H.'s Avatar
      Matt H. -
      It's a typical Jarmusch flick IMO; good, but not great. Although I've enjoyed all of his films, I still don't think he's made his masterpiece. I loved Marvin the bulldog.
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      Dog was the best part. I don't think it comes close to his earlier stuff, though.