Forget his role as the Vader-obsessed villain Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens; Adam Driver has plenty enough going on without it. Later this year he'll be seen in Martin Scorsese's potential Oscar-contending drama, Silence, and earlier he was seen in Jeff Nichols' sci-fi film, Midnight Special. But he also has been making the festival rounds for his lead role in Paterson, the latest from director Jim Jarmusch.
Looking totally unlike Driver's other physically intense roles, Paterson has him in a more reserved mode as a poetry-writing New Jersey bus driver and the quiet life he leads with his wife, Laura (Golshifteh Farahani). Here's the synopsis:
Paterson is a bus driver in the city of Paterson, New Jersey — they share the name.
Every day, Paterson adheres to a simple routine: he drives his daily route, observing the city as it drifts across his windshield and overhearing fragments of conversation swirling around him; he writes poetry into a notebook; he walks his dog; he stops in a bar and drinks exactly one beer; he goes home to his wife, Laura. By contrast, Laura’s world is ever changing. New dreams come to her almost daily.
Paterson loves Laura and she loves him. He supports her newfound ambitions; she champions his gift for poetry. The film quietly observes the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details.
I think Driver's always been able to find a soulful place in most of the characters he plays, but this looks like his most subtle role yet. If anybody can pull that kind of performance out of him it's Jarmusch, a director who has always done things his own way and at his own pace. Paterson opens December 28th.