Jerry Cutler On Film—In ‘Patterson,’ A Bus Driver’s Love For Poetry Is Warm and Delightfully Intriguing
Posted: Friday, December 30, 2016 – 1:24 PM
Jim Jarmusch, the writer/director of Paterson, is without a doubt, a brilliant moviemaker who is able to make something out of nothing. The nothing is the script—the something is a humble and thought-provoking homage to poetry.
Jarmusch has wisely cast Adam Driver, one of cinema’s wonderful and endearing actors, as Paterson, a simple bus driver who aspires to be a poet.
The writer’s humor is evident immediately as the bus driver drives a city bus in Paterson, N. J. When inspired by something, i.e. an overheard conversation by two passengers, or a sunset or a storefront in the once-proud wealthy city now reduced to a lower echelon of workers, Paterson takes out his meticulous kept writing pad and jots down a poetic line.
When he returns home after his shift, he is met by his loving wife, Laura, an equally wonderful Golshifteh Farahami, who tells him of her dreams which are usually enhanced by a creative thought to help brighten up their apartment. And then, as if by rote, he takes the dog out for a walk and steps into the same neighborhood bar for one glass of beer as the dog waits for him. He then returns home to the waiting arms of Laura. That’s it.
If you think the simplicity of the script and movie is too tame for your cinematic taste—think again. It’s honesty, humor and mutual love that makes Paterson as warm and delightfully intriguing as it is. It is not geared to be anything more. It is a story designed to keep us grounded to learn and appreciate the simple things in life and, dear friend; a wholesome love story inspired by a bus driver’s love for poetry is a touch of genius that hits its mark. This is an honest and genuine movie, and I loved it.
3-1/2 bagels with a schmear
Jerry Cutler, The Courier’s film critic, is rabbi at Creative Arts Temple.