Paterson [2016] ★★½

 To say that writer/director Jim Jarmusch makes unusual movies would be the understatement of the year. Sometimes, the result is unforgettable, as in “Stranger than Paradise”. Sometimes, you just want to turn the damn thing off, as in “Only Lovers Left Alive” (sue me). “Paterson” falls somewhere in between: it’s a quiet, intriguing look at everyday’s life, as seen through the eyes of Adam Driver, who plays a bus driver who writes poems and eavesdrops on his passengers. Then he grabs a beer at the local bar, returns home to his girlfriend, and does the whole thing again the next day. Absurd? Pointless? It’s your call. Which is why the movie won’t appeal to an audience seeking a plot twist. There are no surprises here; Jarmusch is only interested in exploring the ups and downs of daily life…and succeeds…up to a point. There are times when “Paterson” displays an undeniable tenderness. There are also times when you’d like to ride Driver’s bus to the nearest exit. Either way, Adam Driver is still the best thing about this movie, and I’d still recommend “Paterson” for his performance alone. I only wish the film were as good as his work in it.

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