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Exactly one week in the life of a young man named Paterson of Paterson, New Jersey is presented. He lives an extremely regimented and routinized life, that routine perhaps most vividly displayed by the fact that he is able to wake up at exactly the same time every day without an alarm. That life includes eating Cheerios for breakfast, walking to work carrying his brown bag lunch packed in his lunch pail by his wife Laura, having a casual chat with his colleague Donny before he begins his shift driving the #23 Paterson bus for the local public transit company, walking home where he straightens out the exterior mailbox which somehow during the day gets knocked crooked, eating dinner with Laura and listening to her goings-on of the day, taking Laura's English bulldog Marvin - who he would admit to himself he doesn't much like - out for a walk to his neighborhood bar where he has one and only one beer before walking home with Marvin. There are day to day variations which are often the ... Written by
On Wednesday, Laura is shown painting the doorways of the house black. However, on Monday and Tuesday the doorways were already black. See more »
You look a little drained. You were home a little late. Was your day okay?
Well, it was until the bus broke down.
The bus broke down? Was it dangerous?
No, it was just... it sputtered out. It was an electrical problem.
Electrical problem? Could it have exploded into a fireball?
No, no. It's just an old bus.
Well, I think they should get their best driver who's also a great poet a brand new bus. It's the least they could do.
City of Paterson? Not likely.
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Saw Paterson at the Vancouver Film Festival today and enjoyed to a certain point, while becoming a bit tired of some of its cuter elements (such as the bus driver poet's decorating girlfriend) and the modernist or minimalist pace, which grows contrived in the repetition of both routine days and quirky features. The film is a tribute to Paterson, NJ's famous poet, William Carlos Williams and to the notion of celebrating reality by recording it in a faithful, painterly fashion without embellishment or sermonizing.
If you don't demand a lot of action or forward motion you are more likely to enjoy this film as a kind of modernist poem in itself. You have a cute grumpy dog to entertain you, an idealized love relationship to wonder about, and some complete red herrings such as omnipresent twins to distract you from the static still-life character of the film.
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