Jim Jarmusch’s “Paterson” will hit theaters at the end of 2016, Variety has learned.
Amazon Studios is backing the indie drama and is partnering with Bleecker Street on the film’s release. The movie will get a platform release, expanding its theatrical footprint gradually. It will debut on Dec. 28, which allows it to qualify for awards. That’s a busy time of year, one that will also see the launches of Oscar contenders such as “Toni Erdmann,” an acclaimed German comedy, and “Patriot’s Day,” a drama about the Boston Marathon bombing.
“Paterson” centers on a bus driver (Adam Driver of “Girls” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”), following him on his daily routine, as he ferries passengers around the city of Paterson, N.J. All the while, the driver, who is also named Paterson, channels his observations into poetry, scratching out his writing in a notebook that he carries. Golshifteh Farahani (“Rosewater”) co-stars as Paterson’s supportive wife, who champions his writing.
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“Paterson” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, garnering Jarmusch some of the strongest reviews of his career.
In the A.V. Club, Mike D’Angelo praised the film’s mild-mannered nature, writing, “The heart of the film lies precisely in its ordinariness, which Jarmusch somehow makes transcendent through repetition, point of view, and poetry.”
Jarmusch’s past films include “Down by Law,” “Broken Flowers,” and “Mystery Train.”
For the past year, Amazon has been very active in the indie space, releasing the likes of Woody Allen’s “Cafe Society” and Nicolas Winding Refn’s “The Neon Demon.” Amazon is planning to push “Paterson” for the Oscars. It won’t be the only Amazon release with an awards season campaign. “Cafe Society” could get some awards love, particularly for its screenplay and Vittorio Storaro’s lush cinematography. The company has another serious Oscar contender in “Manchester by the Sea,” Kenneth Lonergan’s searing family drama, which it bought out of the Sundance Film Festival and will release in November in conjunction with Roadside Attractions.
As part of its strategy, Amazon finances or buys films and partners with an indie company, such as Roadside or Bleecker, to distribute them in theaters. It then gets streaming rights for its Amazon Prime subscription service. That’s a different model than other digital competitors, such as Netflix, which tend to be primarily interested in releasing the films they back directly to their subscribers, often forgoing a theatrical release.