Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I Guess You Had to Be There

Here's one of those movies that arrives on the scene with the wind of wonderful critical reviews powering its ascent.   You can't miss "Paterson" I am told.

Okay, I'll bite.   And I did.    Now I'm wondering if all those hosannas from critics were just something I imagined.  Because, while being a movie that held my interest, "Paterson" was one excruciatingly dull cinematic experience.

The main character in the film is Paterson and, to confuse me even further, he lives in Paterson, NJ.   As a matter of fact, he's a young guy who's never left Paterson.   He goes only as far as the route of the bus that he drives daily.   He goes home to his Iranian wife who spends her day surrounding herself with black and white patterns.   Rounding out the family group is a bulldog named Marvin who Paterson takes for a nightly walk and a visit to the local tavern. The movie follows this schedule for the seven days it depicts and little deviates from the routine.   The only inspiring moments come from when Paterson, in voice over, reads the poetry he has writer because, you see, he's a bus driver/poet. 

If that doesn't sound interesting to you, bingo, we have a winner.   It's not.   Writer-director Jim Jarmusch has you waiting for something profound or monumental to happen.   It never does.   They keep showing Paterson tying Marvin to a fire hydrant while he goes into the bar for a beer.   Okay, I'm thinking, the dog is going to be stolen eventually.  Nope.   Indeed, the only thing that does occur over the two hours is a homage to the old homework excuse..."the dog ate it."   You'll have to see to know what I mean.  If ever a movie needed a psychotic killing spree to play out, it's this one.

Or, on second thought, don't bother.

While the work of Adam Driver as the lead is admirable, I really don't understand what all the critical fuss is about.   Paterson himself is in first gear and the director doesn't know how to pop the clutch for the rest of the film.   

Maybe I should read some more reviews of "Paterson" to see just what it is I'm meaning.

Or, on third thought, I won't bother either.

LEN'S RATING:  One star.

Dinner last night:  Hawaiian chicken and vegetables.

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