Arielrocks5’s review published on Letterboxd:
I wish I wasn't limited to just five stars so I can give this movie what it properly deserves. "Barton Fink" goes beyond simple being yet another great film by two of the greatest filmmakers of all time, it's a brilliantly constructed character study of not just of the title character but of anyone who has ever experienced the pain writers block or any form of struggle with writing.
From the minute one my eyes were clued to my TV, and as the movie kept going and going, my heart started to race, I started to sink into my bed, and my brain was running wild with all of the deep and enriching themes this movie was throwing at me left and right. I was left truly terrified and unnerved by the end, and the only words that came out of my mouth after that was "Amazing".
Story follows a play writer who then suddenly gets a deal to make a major motion picture. Only one problem, he can't seem to write. No matter how hard he tries, the words never seem to fit well within what he thinks will be the perfect script to give to the big name producer.
Then, right next door to him, this man known as Charlie Meadows (Played by John Goodman) who wants to help him out and make him feel at home. And then as the days go by, the world around Barton becomes all the more uncomfortable, making it even harder for him to write in peace.
You know what I love about the Coen Brothers more than anything? They seemingly make every single cut, edit, camera, actor movement, and line important to the main film. Not a single frame is wasted within their works since they know that if you're going to keep people in a giant dark room for a couple hours, make sure what they get out of it will be important to them and make them want to come back for more.
And that's exactly what "Barton Fink" does. It makes me want to rewatch it endlessly, pick up more details, figure out and find more symbolism the movie is seemingly drenched in.
Thankfully you have a fantastic cast of actors all giving it their all to delver outstanding performances across the board. Oh, and thanks to this movie, I can never look at John Goodman the same way anymore without wanting to scream in pure terror due to what happens during the last ten or so minutes.
Does it even need to be mentioned that the screenplay is phenomenal? It's a Coen script. Rich with detail. Oozing with complexity. And shining with true greatness that very few writers can even come close to matching.
Carter Burwell's score is incredible. Every single track fits perfectly within each scene it's placed into, leaving a haunting feeling of tension and pure fear and terror more than most horror movies can accomplish. Thanks also in part to unforgettable but undeniably perfectly framed, choreographed, and staged scenes.
It's hard for me to really say where I'd put "Barton Fink" among my favorite films of all time, let alone my Coen Brothers' movies. But for now, all I can say is this.
"Barton Fink" is probably more deep, complex, compelling, terrifying, intense, insane than probably a good amount of movies I've seen so far through my life and earns my highest of highest praises.
WATCH IT RIGHT NOW OR ELSE I'LL SHOW YOU THE LIFE MIND! AGHHHHHH LOOK UPON ME!!!!!! I WILL SHOW YOU THE LIFE OF THE MIND! *runs out of the room screaming with a shotgun setting houses on fire*