Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani
Adam Driver’s (HBO’s Girls, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) star continues to rise with another pitch-perfect performance in Jim Jarmusch’s (Stranger Than Paradise, Broken Flowers, Only Lovers Left Alive) Paterson, screened in Competition at Cannes (where it won not the Palme d’Or, but the Palm Dog).
He plays Paterson, a bus driver-cum-poet named for the New Jersey town in which he lives and works (and about which town American poet William Carlos Williams wrote an epic poem, a link which Paterson references). Thinking while he drives, he writes snatches of verse on his lunch-break, taking inspiration from his passengers’ conversations, before going home to his wife Laura (Golshifteh Farahani), who’s equally engaged in her own creative and cultural pursuits.
Jarmusch builds up a picture of Paterson’s life through small, amusing details and observations, the repetitions and patterns of which gradually take hold to deliver perhaps the most purely pleasurable film on screen at Cannes this year. It’s a very American paean to the gentle delights, interiority and capacity of reflection afforded by small-town life.