Paterson is a bus driver in the city of Paterson, New Jersey. He adheres to a simple routine, writing poetry and observing the city on his route. His wife, Laura, lives in an ever-changing world. He supports her newfound ambitions; she champions his secret gift for poetry. The film channels the history and energy of the City of Paterson. The quiet triumphs and defeats of daily life are observed over one week, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details.