Poetic Paterson Is a 'Small Miracle'

Jim Jarmusch's flick is 'wonderfully serene,' says critic
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2016 11:22 AM CST

Squeezing into 2016 with hardly any time to spare is one of the year's best films, according to critics. Jim Jarmusch's Paterson follows a week in the very routine life of a bus driver and closet poet named Paterson, who happens to live in Paterson, NJ. The flick has a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Here's what critics are saying:

  • "Nothing particularly eventful happens," which probably makes Paterson "sound like a bit of an aimless snooze—it's anything but," writes Chris Nashawaty at Entertainment Weekly, acknowledging "a hushed beauty to Paterson and Paterson that celebrates the way in which even the most ordinary, prosaic lives can be full of poetry."
  • "In depicting Paterson's day-to-day rituals, Jarmusch evokes something essential about the artist's way: how he or she must seesaw between observation and insularity, maintaining a firm sphere of privacy while being open to everything," writes David Edelstein at Vulture. "I've never seen a film that captures the inner world of an artist with such delicacy."

  • "Paterson, like most films assured enough to make their own rules, is not just a refreshing change of pace but a revivifying one," writes Justin Chang at the Los Angeles Times. The film is "its own poem of sorts": "a string of clever allusions and linguistic puzzles" that leads "to such exquisite rivulets of feeling," he writes. It's "wonderfully serene and beguiling."
  • "Jarmusch's quiet spellbinder is intentionally small. It's also a small miracle," writes Peter Travers at Rolling Stone, calling Paterson "one of the year's best" films and Driver's "lived-in and lyrical" performance one of the year's "loveliest." The film "takes its good, sweet time working its way into your mind and heart. But when it does, you're a goner," he adds.
(More movie review stories.)

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