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).
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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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The Most Terrible Time in My Life is the first installment of a three-part series concerning Maiku Hama - a punk-turned-respectable private eye whose office is located in a movie theatre. A gritty, violent tale of gangland warfare, missing people, and friendships, and betrayal, Maiku's exploits begin by defending a waiter at a local mah-jongg parlor from two Yakuza thugs, culminating in Maiku getting part of his pinky finger sliced off. The waiter, Hai Ting, then hires Maiku to find his brother who has gone missing for a year since arriving in Japan. Maiku contacts his old cabby buddy Hoshino and finds out the Taiwanese and Hong Kong mafias are planning an all-out turf war in Japan.
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