Skip to main content
Barton Fink Movie Poster
Plot, Details & Awards

Barton Fink

Rated R for language and some scenes of violence.

R In Theaters 08/14/1991 , 116min.
Share this movie on

Plot & Details

The title character, played by John Turturro, is a Broadway playwright, based on Clifford Odets, lured to Hollywood with the promise of untold riches by a boorish studio chieftain (played by Michael Lerner as a combination of Louis B. Mayer and Harry Cohn). Despising the film capital and everything it stands for, Barton Fink comes down with an acute case of writer's block. He is looked after by a secretary (Judy Davis) who has been acting as a ghost writer for an alcoholic screenwriter (John Mahoney, playing a character based on William Faulkner). Also keeping tabs on Fink is a garrulous traveling salesman (John Goodman), the most likeable, stable character in the picture. And then comes the plot twist to end all plot twists, plunging Barton Fink into a surreal nightmare that would make Hieronymus Bosch look like a house painter. Once more, Ethan and Joel Coen serve up a smorgasbord of quirkiness and kinkiness, where nothing is what it seems and nothing turns out as planned.

Awards

Academy Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1991 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Art Direction Dennis Gassner Nominated
1991 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Art Direction Nancy Haigh Nominated
1991 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Supporting Actor Michael Lerner Nominated
1991 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Costume Design Richard Hornung Nominated

Cannes Film Festival

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1991 Cannes Film Festival Best Director Joel Coen Won
1991 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or Won
1991 Cannes Film Festival Best Actor John Turturro Won

Los Angeles Film Critics Association

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1990 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Cinematography Roger Deakins Won
1990 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Michael Lerner Won

New York Film Critics Circle

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1991 New York Film Critics Circle Best Cinematography Roger Deakins Won
1991 New York Film Critics Circle Best Supporting Actress Judy Davis Won

Stay Connected with Moviefone

My Settings

You are currently subscribed as: {email}


Subscriptions

Get the latest reviews, movie news, photos, and trailers sent straight to your inbox.

Weekly Newsletter

Daily alerts

Movies

You're not following any movies.

These are the movies you’re currently following.


    Update settings
    X