Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Barton Fink (1991)

Turturro's Finest Hour - 4/5
So I saw this film just now called 'Barton Fink'.It is the story of a frustrated writer in Los Angeles desperately looking for inspiration whilst remaining committed to the plight of the common man. The film was headed up by Coen Brothers favourites John Tuturro and John Goodman and can certainly be described as Turturro's finest hour. It is funny but it seems that the Coen Brothers are the only real fans of these two actors. They bring out their brilliance in a way no other director has and since the pair have stopped using these two actors as much as they did their careers seem to have taken a downward spiral. What a shame this is. Turturro's performance in this one is award worthy but what do we see him in now? 'Transofmers' and maybe 'Anger Management' spring to mind but these don't stand up to his earlier work, especially that of the 90s. It seems incredible that after performances such as this Tuturro remains a B list actor who rarely is given the chance of a leading role. Going back to the subject of awards, this one was nominated for three Oscars. Alas, Turturro was not a nominee and instead the nomination was for Best Actor In A Supporting Role. Goodman? Nope. It was for Michael Lerner. How ridiculous.

To a lesser extent the same can be said of John Goodman. The Coen Brothers always manage to bring out a crazy and sometimes psychotic side to Goodman and this can not only be seen in 'Barton Fink' but in the crude character he played in 'The Big Lebowski'. Again, where is he these days? The only name the average movie watcher would recognise here is Steve Buscemi and I feel this is a real shame. I just can't see how other directors have not picked up on the talent of these two.

Anyway back to the film. It is a film based around frustration. We feel Turturro's frustration through his performance and perhaps because the film was based on the true experiences of writers block, during the creation of the film 'Miller's Crossing', of the directorial duo. The film is so effective in showing the pain that they themselves went through and you can feel how genuine it is all the way through. We get another typically Coen Brothers ambiguous ending just like we did with 'A Serious Man' but all in all the film was a brilliant one.

You May Also Like:
A Serious Man Review 


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