Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into this offhanded comedy-drama. The central theme this time is poetry, as Jarmusch weaves the quiet everyday observations of William Carlos Williams' writings into a movie set in his hometown. It's a whimsical story packed with wry humour, thoughtful emotion and some spicy details in both the people and places.
It takes place in Paterson, New Jersey, but the title is also the name of the central character. Paterson (Adam Driver) is a bus driver who enjoys his daily routine with his girlfriend Laura (Golshifteh Farahani). As he scribbles poetry in his journal, Laura longs to be a cupcake-baking country singer. Their days are livened up by their expressive bulldog Marvin, who accompanies Paterson to the bar each night, where he chats with barman Doc (Barry Shabaka Henley) and the locals. Then one day his routine is broken, and a series of small events seem to conspire to change the course of his life.
There isn't actually much plot in this movie, which gently observes Paterson's repetitive days with a sense of sardonic wit. Driver and Farahani are terrific in their roles as dreamers whose lives are coloured with artistic expression. They're so cheerful, even in challenging situations, that we can't help but love them. By contrast, Paterson's boss (Rizwan Manji) has a list of complaints to recite every morning, and a couple in the bar (William Jackson Harper and Chasten Harmon) seem to be fighting about nothing. And then there are three other intriguing poets Paterson encounters over the course of the film: a rapper (Cliff Smith), a young girl (Sterling Jerins) and a Japanese tourist (Nagase).
Continue reading: Paterson Review
A week in the life of Paterson (Adam Driver); a bus driver who happens to live in Paterson, New Jersey to the amusement of everyone he meets. He's also a talented poet, who writes based on his simple daily observations and is never found without his notebook. He lives his life on a strict schedule; he goes to work, goes home, walks his English bulldog Marvin, grabs a beer at the local bar and returns home to his wife. He is married to a woman called Laura (Golshifteh Farahani), whose life isn't quite as routine as Paterson's everyday schedule. She dreams of becoming a country singer and encourages her husband to go out and publish some of his work. But is he ready to share his mind with the rest of the world?
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A more feminine slant elevates this remake to something interesting, even if the film is overwrought and essentially unnecessary. Director Peirce calls this a new adaptation of the Stephen King novel rather than a remake of the 1976 Brian DePalma film. But while this is an efficiently made freak-out, Peirce packs the screen with nods to the earlier movie, which remains the iconic version of this story.
Carrie (Moretz) is bullied at high school because she doesn't quite fit in. Mean girl Chris (Doubleday) targets her ruthlessly, humiliating her in the locker-room when she first gets her period. But Chris' friend Sue (Wilde) thinks this went too far, and convinces her hunky boyfriend Tommy (Elgort) to take Carrie to the prom. Back home, Carrie's mother Margaret (Moore) is a religious fanatic who hates men, rejects any hint of sex and locks Carrie in a tiny closet to pray for forgiveness when she even mentions going to a dance with a boy. But Carrie's womanhood has also brought her telekinetic powers. And as the prom approaches, Chris is planning something nasty that will provoke Carrie to react.
The first problem here is in casting Moretz as a teen wallflower, because she's simply too confident and glamorous to believe as someone so socially inept. Thankfully, Moretz is a terrific actor, so she sharply catches Carrie's nervous energy and makes us believe that she's been pushed to the brink by both her mother and her classmates. Even so, she works out how to use her power far too quickly. Opposite her, Moore delivers a superbly detailed portrayal of a paranoid true believer.
Continue reading: Carrie Review
Brad Harris is having what he calls a 'no-life crisis'. He is stuck in a soul destroying job and he is still living with his parents, despite him being in his mid-thirties. The one thing that holds any interest for him is bird watching. When he discovers that this year is known to 'birders' as 'The Big Year' - one year where birders set out to find as many birds in the country as possible - Brad is determined to beat the record previously set by Kenny Postick.
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In The Terminal, Spielberg gives us Hanks as Viktor Navorski, a visitor from the fictitious country of Krakhozia in Eastern Europe. Hanks, made up to be pasty and lumpy, puts on a mush-mouthed accent reminiscent of Yakov Smirnoff, and finds himself landing at New York's JFK on a mission we won't discover until the end of the film. We know only that it involves a Planters peanut can.
Continue reading: The Terminal Review
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