“His name is Paterson, and he drives a bus in Paterson, N.J., covering a route that takes him over a bridge above Paterson Falls — the latter immortalized in William Carlos Williams’ epic poem, “Paterson,” which is set in a city with a long history. Paterson is also the title of a moving new film by Jim Jarmusch, who lovingly embraces these curious, even mystical reflections between a likable if circumspect character (played by Adam Driver), a place and its cultural legacies.
“Driver’s Paterson (the only name he goes by) is a creature of his hometown, though his connection to it — or to anything — is oddly tenuous. He’s like a visitor in his own skin, never quite grounded in any moment. It’s only when Paterson is writing poetry, which he carefully guards, in a blank notebook during stolen moments at work and home, that he seems complete.
“Driver’s performance as an uncertain man getting through the day-to-day prosaic, quietly buoyed by passion and artistic commitment, is exquisite.” Seattle Times