If you're someone who insists on sharing details of your life on social media as they happen, then watching Paterson may feel like stepping back into the 20th century.

A lyrical, gentle film from director Jim Jarmusch, Paterson centres on a week in the life of a character who won't use a mobile phone, let alone Snapchat. In fact, Paterson's lack of self-promotion is an issue with his gregarious wife, who pleads with him to share his poetry with the world.

Paterson, played beautifully by Adam Driver in one of his best roles yet, is a bus driver in the small town of Paterson, New Jersey. A creature of habit, Paterson wakes up naturally, eats breakfast and straightens the letterbox as he sets out for work.

Adam Driver stars in a scene from the film, Paterson.
Adam Driver stars in a scene from the film, Paterson.

During his working day he snatches a few moments to write poems before heading home for his wife's creative meals. After dinner, their grumpy English bulldog takes Paterson for a walk, allowing him to pop into his local bar for an end of day beer.


It doesn't sound like much. But when you're into the swing of Jarmusch's refreshingly languid pacing, Paterson reveals itself as a film that finds meaning in daily life. Jarmusch's thoughtful framing - which beautifully captures the streets of Paterson in the reflection of the bus's windscreen, and his leading man's awareness of the world around him - remind us we're surrounded by beauty, and that inspiration can come from something as simple as a box of matches or a stranger's conversation.

Though Paterson is a happy loner he loves the passion of his wife Laura (Farahani) who announces daily that she has a new dream. An artist obsessed with black and white, she is slowly painting their house, and her outfits, in these colours.

Her local market cupcake career takes off thanks to monochrome cakes, and to kick-start her country music career her latest purchase is a black and white guitar. They make a gorgeous couple - partly because of their obvious adoration of each other, but also because they understand they need their own space.

Adam Driver and Farahani in a scene from the film, Paterson.
Adam Driver and Farahani in a scene from the film, Paterson.

And that's what you get in Paterson, a series of well-defined and well-portrayed characters, (even the dog is excellent) who can rely on subtle glances and gestures to tell their stories. The humour is dry, with the funniest gags coming out of the simplest everyday events.

Paterson is a film about enjoying the world around us, and how talent exists in seemingly ordinary folk. It's a pleasure just to stop and be part of someone else's life - someone, who like the rest of us, is just getting by. If mindfulness is on your list of New Year's resolutions, I can't recommend it enough.

Verdict: A delightful, meandering meditation on finding art and beauty in the most ordinary of places.

Cast: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Running Time: 118 mins
Rating: M (Offensive language)