Jim Jarmusch first made a splash on the indie movie scene in the '80s, and has enjoyed a long, noteworthy career, but with this beautiful, Zen-like work, he has made what could be his very best movie. Paterson is a masterpiece that takes great pleasure in the repeating rhythms of life, finding great beauty in circles, twins, and the cycle of things ruined and repaired. Its simple structure allows for many little, hidden meanings to be happily discovered and enjoyed (from William Carlos Williams to the Wu-Tang Clan to Moonrise Kingdom), but it's also a touchingly emotional work as well, focusing on the tiny intricacies of a long-term relationship.
The couple, Paterson and Laura, have many little conversations about their day-to-day lives, but the unspoken is also important. There's so much love in the way they simply read each other, and admire each other's actions, or worry about each other. It's a deeply compassionate movie, wherein Jarmusch paints the town with multicultural characters, each of whom is viewed respectfully, as human. (Paterson himself is one of the only white characters in the movie.) Finally, lest it sound too serious and too ponderous, the movie is also quite funny from time to time, with most of the humor springing from the stubborn, snorting English bulldog. Paterson is a movie you'll wish you could just carry around with you forever.