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Barton Fink


Roger Davidson

Barton Fink
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Winner of three awards at the Cannes Film Festival in 1991, Fink is not as great as some of the Coen's other work, but it certainly has plenty of good moments. It involves a befuddled playwright (John Turturro), who is given a job offer to write a screenplay for a wrestling picture in 1941 Hollywood. But when he comes to the movie capital and moves into a rundown hotel, he develops a severe case of writers block. Soon strange things start to happen to him. He befriends an insurance salesman (John Goodman), who may be hiding a big secret. Like say, he's actually a deranged serial killer! In the mean time, Turturro just can't seem to think of a good story for the picture.

When you watch this, think Eraserhead in color. There are some mind-blowing scenes in this film, thanks especially to the set design and the scene-stealing performances of Goodman, as the towering salesman and Michael Lerner, as a Louis B. Mayer type studio head. The film is not for everyone's taste, but it's certainly a film that deserves to be watched at least once. Best scene: Goodman's showdown with two cops in the hotel hallway, near the end of the film. Don't miss that scene!

My Rating = Three Stars

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