Within the first ten minutes, I loved this film. And, as the story progressed and I learned more about Paterson and his life, the film didn't fail to meet my hopes and expectations, which were pretty high at that point. The end result was that the climax of the film both thrilled me as a film aficionado and pained me as a writer since I was absolutely able to empathize with the tragedy that befalls Paterson.
A second viewing recently made me more keenly aware of the gifted performance Adam Driver delivers as Paterson. On one hand, he is a dull blank slate taking in the world around him but seemingly unaffected by it. On the other, he is capable of passionate displays of affection like when he creates a love poem for his wife. This is a man whose primary outlet for expression is his ability to put words together, and he would be largely cut off if he ever lost it.
Driver is directed by the enigmatic Jim Jarmusch, whose work I have been aware of but haven't really paid close attention to. That will definitely need to change as Jarmusch seems hellbent on being as truthful in his storytelling as possible, something that is becoming increasingly rare.