In 1941, New York intellectual playwright Barton Fink comes to Hollywood to write a Wallace Beery wrestling picture. Staying in the eerie Hotel Earle, Barton develops severe writer's block. His neighbor, jovial insurance salesman Charlie Meadows, tries to help, but Barton continues to struggle as a bizarre sequence of events distracts him even further from his task. Written by
Scott Renshaw <email@example.com>
When Barton meets Charlie for the first time, the fan behind him on the desk changes speeds. The strips attached to the fan are first slack, then blowing out, then slack again. See more »
We're only interested in one thing, Bart. Can you tell a story? Can you make us laugh? Can you make us cry? Can you make us want to break out in joyous song? Is that more than one thing? Okay!
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Classic dark comedy spoofs Hollywood hacks, literati alike
This is a satire which really eviscerates its main character, nebbish Barton Fink, a semi-successful, very Jewish New York playwright who comes to Hollywood to make his dreams come true, which in his case is definately not writing the next Wallace Beery wrestling picture. There are just too many funny things in this movie to mention them all, so I won't mention any. But this is a movie that is going to stand up to the test of time; it may be the Coen brothers' best movie, because it is both dead funny and dead serious.
Turturro gives the performance of a lifetime as Barton, and Goodman proved with this movie that he was a first class acting talent (what made the Coens think of him in this role, anyway? surely a mark of genius). Davis also shows herself off extremely well, in one of this underrated actresses finest roles.
There is, simply put, no better satire of Hollywood, and none that I can think of that so successfully manages to also spoof the pretentions of those who despise it.
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