Love On Wheels
Starring: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Barry Shabaka, Cliff Smith Henley, Masatoshi Nagase and Marvin the bulldog
Director/Scriptwriter: Jim Jarmusch
Composers: SQURL (Carter Logan, Jim Jarmusch and Shane Stoneback)
Cinematography: Frederick Elmes
Rating: PG 13
Running Length: 118 Minutes
What a coincidence---a bus driver with the last name of Paterson who drives in Paterson, N. J. Such is the beginning of the story of Paterson (the man), his gift for poetry and life in New Jersey with an equally creative wife, Laura (Golshifteh Farahani) and their pet, a bulldog named Marvin. You would think this movie would have a slow and melancholy tone---wake up---it does not---and is rich with the everyday life of bus passengers and the love of two people who appreciate each other. By the way, always watch where the dog is.
Adam Driver, whom you last saw swinging a light saber in a “Star Wars” film, makes a 180-degree turn and takes on the persona of Paterson, a mild-mannered bus driver who lives by a certain schedule from Monday-Friday, and Saturday-Sunday, talks to his wife, eats her cooking, walks the dog, has a beer with the guys in the evening and is content with life. However, Paterson writes poetry and you see his writings on the left hand of the movie screen as he jots down his thoughts in a notebook. His favorite poet is William Carlos Williams. Paterson prefers the notebook to a computer. His wife, is creative, too, but in an energetic way with a small catering business and oh those cupcakes, plus sewing and designing her clothing. She buys an expensive guitar-with-lessons and thinks she can make it in Nashville as a country western star. Her own outfits, of course. Paterson takes this in stride, as he does with the small adventures of life and the days go on. Until....
In this richly photographed (by Frederick Elmes) city, you capture the early morning sun as Paterson walks to work, and the rhythm of every day life is caught by the composers SQURL (and I didn't make that name up). There are beautiful parks with waterfalls, too, and even an average, perhaps slightly below middle class house, made colorful with one of the occupants and her color schemes.
Adam Driver, the tallest person in any room, is stoic as a bus driver, quietly watching his passengers and the road. The time for himself is for writing, and he has a gentle side with teens. Driver’s performance is done with a soft touch. On the other side, is the buoyant Laura (Golshifteh Farahani) who bounces around the small house like a colorful spring. She has enough dreams for success for the two of them. Marvin, the bulldog, sits in his chair and just watches this all happen. What adds to the film are the people in the local bar and their observations of life, and conversations overheard on the bus. People say anything, anytime, anywhere. Life goes on smoothly, until......
“Paterson” left me with a feeling of hope and the idea that you never know what talent is sitting next to you, whether on a bus, plane or train. The idea of going by the days of the week is like having small acts of a play. Gives one time to see what went before and how it might interact with today. When life gives you a kick, you can fold or keep going. The sun will rise anyway, in Paterson and around the globe.
Copyright 2017 Marie Asner