Paterson ★★★★★

Jim Jarmusch has always had a knack for finding magic where no one else ever bothered to look. At first it was John Lurie smoking a cigarette while watching TV, and now it's Adam Driver writing poetry while sitting on an NJ Transit bus. As he's aged, Jarmusch has become more and more fascinated with literary references and metaphysical references, a sort of reality filtered through the point-of-view of a highly inquisitive, observant mind. In Paterson, he finds a perfect balance. A lucid portrait of contentment, of good humor and human understanding. A bold, rhythmic week in the life of a man, a woman and their combative dog. A love letter to a small New Jersey city, and all of America's small cities, and the geniuses that come from them. Not optimistic, necessarily, but joyously realistic in surprising and enlightening ways. The best film of 2016.

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