The titles that came out of the Cannes Film Festival with major buzz were more varied than usual this year, which is saying something considering all the stories that tend to come out of Europe’s most important film festival and market. Regularly celebrated auteurs like Olivier Assayas and Pedro Almodovar found themselves splitting critics with Personal Shopper and Julieta; Paul Verhoeven found himself at the center of another controversy with his diabolical, brilliant Elle; the Romanians once again proved that they’re producing some of the best movies on the planet with Graduation and Sieranevada.
The only two movies that seemed to get universal praise out of the festival were Park Chan-wook‘s The Handmaiden and Jim Jarmusch‘s Paterson, yet another ruminative, existential comedy from one of America’s best living filmmakers. Buzz has been building around Paterson quickly, especially due to the marvelous central performance by Adam Driver as the titular bus driver who spends his days driving, writing poems, hanging out with his wife (Goldshiftheh Farahani) and dog, and taking walks to the local bar. And that’s really what most of the movie is made up of when all is said and done, which might not exactly come across in the first trailer for the movie, which you can take a look at below.
Much like Only Lovers Left Alive, his exquisite previous film about a vampire couple, Jarmusch’s Paterson is a quietly romantic film, indebted as much to the power of a strong better half as to the power of expression. Certain symbols disappear and then appear again throughout the movie, and even some scenes are shown again and again but in slightly different visual variations to give the film’s aesthetic a certain rhythm. For those who are not used to this, Jarmusch’s lovely film may take some time to get into, but those who have already been intoxicated by the director’s artistry will find bliss and humor in nearly every scene of Paterson.