FilmApe’s review published on Letterboxd:
Let's jump into it. There are some spoilers here.
Given the themes of the movie, it is interesting to note that Jarmusch made a big change with his last film Only Lovers Left Alive. To my knowledge, Jarmusch had never shot a film on digital until OLLA, and according to IMDB trivia "had a distaste" for digital. However, OLLA was shot with an Alexa camera, as is Paterson, and Jarmusch is creating some of the best looking digital films being released right now. I mean, it helps that he worked with Frederick Elmes on Paterson, who he's worked with before with great success (and the dude shot Eraserhead), but still. It certainly isn't a small thing to switch from film to digital, especially when talking about stylistic continuity in a director's filmography, but Jarmusch is doing it no problem, and furthermore, I think that it is taking Jarmusch's work to a new and different level, and that is an insanely high compliment, given his body of work.
There is a lot of Jarmusch stuff going on with this film, and by that I mean references to his earlier work within Paterson. I got heavy Ghost Dog and Coffee and Cigarettes vibes off the film, and there is a massive cameo at the end that had me . However, Jarmusch subverted my expectations in a big way, by unraveling the Coffee and Cigarettes-esque set ups on the bus, and then unraveling the entire film by changing the camera set ups and aesthetics that were established during the first half of the film. To say that Jarmusch is a master director would be an understatement, and I'm referring to how this story of seeing the unexpected and spontaneity in the mundane and repetitive is very literally shown through how this film is constructed. I mean, the way that Jarmusch plays with Golshifteh Farahani so that it is unclear exactly what her character represents is truly impressive.
Can I just point out how well that this would double feature with Manglehorn. I mean both films deal with mundanity and the fact that the inconsistencies in life should be embraced. Both films prominently feature mailboxes and household pets...need I write more?
Paterson is a beautifully made film made by a master craftsman. This film had me both smiling and deep thinking extremely liberally, and I appreciate that so much. Also, I cannot get enough of these mini Moonrise Kingdom reunions that we've been getting. In 2016 we got mini reunions in both Manchester By The Sea and Paterson, and this year we are guaranteed one in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and I'll be honest, I'm hoping for more.