Kamloops Film Festival in review: Paterson

Each year, The Omega reviews the films presented at the Kamloops Film Festival. The festival came to a close on March 11.

Paterson was directed and written by Jim Jarmusch and is about a man named Paterson who lives in Paterson, New Jersey. Paterson is a full-time bus driver and poet who gets inspired by the little things in life. Although he frequently writes poems, he does not particularly like to share them with others and keeps them hidden away in his “secret journal.”

Paterson lives a fairly mundane life with a firmly set routine that is hardly ever broken, though Paterson’s life is constantly spiced up by his wife Laura, who wants to be a baker and a famous country singer. Laura is full of life and constantly painting various items in their home (the shower curtains, the walls, her own clothes, etc.). She is very different from Paterson but the two balance each other out in a symbiotic way.

Paterson’s routine includes a nightly visit to a local bar for a beer at the end of the night. At this bar, he encounters the bartender and owner Doc, played by Barry Shabaka Henley. Doc also seems stuck in his own ordinary routine and is plagued with the trivialities of everyday life. Doc and Paterson bond over the greats (poets, baseball players, musicians) that once lived in their city and have now moved on to bigger and better things.

Starring Adam Driver as Paterson himself, Driver gives a fantastic and compelling performance. Co-starring alongside him was Golshifteh Farahani as his wife Laura and Nellie as their quirky and mischievous dog Marvin.

This movie was meant to feel a little mundane and this occasionally made the pacing of the film a little slow as we went through a week-in-the-life. The editing of this film felt dated and often detracted from the scenes rather than adding flow to the story.

Paterson was a poetic, charming and fun film that was far too underrated.

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