For a long time this was my least favorite Coen film. And up until about a year ago I did not like it at all. However, sometime this year IFC became the “Barton Fink” channel (much in the same way that TNT is currently the “Jerry McGuire” channel) and I started watching “Barton Fink” repeatedly trying to figure out why it had no appeal for me. I watched it. I studied it. I looked for pieces of the puzzle I had missed.
Now when I say I did not like it, that is not to say I don’t appreciate it as a film. I tend not to like Scorsese films as a rule, but I love to go see them, because, even if I don’t like the story or the actors (I loath Joe Pesci in Marty Scorses films, but he’s great in the “Lethal Weapon” series), his films still tend to be interesting and worth discussing with friends afterward. “Barton Fink” is the same way. As much as I did not get it or like it, I love to discuss it with those who did. However, this time, with the help of my wife, Miranda Kopfschmertzen, I think I got it.
Our usual cast of characters are back. John Tuturro plays the title role, John Goodman is “Charlie”, his friendly neighbor turned serial murderer, Jon Polito is the assistant to Capitol Pictures’ CEO and Steve Buscemi plays “CHET!”,