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Adam Driver plays Paterson, a bus driver for the city of Paterson, New Jersey. He is a poet who moves through each day that is almost a repetition of the previous day. He is comfortable with routine; his wife, the exact opposite – always trying something new and adventurous. At the beginning of the film, we see Paterson starting a poem about a matchbox he looks at while eating his morning Cheerios. What was amazing to me is how the director uses that one scene to get the viewer to pay really close attention, through Paterson’s eyes, to see the nuances that make each day a bit different and fuel his writing. There are lots of funny moments as well – their bulldog clearly only tolerates Paterson, and Paterson’s wife is rather kooky and inventive. I have liked Adam Driver’s performances, but they never really grabbed me. In Paterson, he is outstanding. Big thumbs up for me for a film that adds new appreciate for art and the artist and celebrates those instances that stand out from the ordinary. Some people might find the film kind of slow – it is, but the way it develops is extremely satisfying.

About Gary Burkholder

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