I recently purchased "Barton Fink" along with "Miller's Crossinhg", another Coen Brothers gem.
Barton Fink quite simply is a writer who cannot see the forest for the trees. He is so taken with the fact that he is a writer that he can't write. He is so idealistic that he misses fantastic opportunities to become a writer for the ages because he wastes precious time proeselytizing. John Goodman perfectly sums up eveyone's frustration with Barton Fink when after a series of unfortunate occurrences, Barton asks him "Why me?" to which John's character answers "Because you don't LISTEN!"
Set in 1930s Hollywood we follow the exploits of a one-hit wonder, Barton Fink, who has written a successful Broadway play and is summoned by the powers that be to Hollywood. After much cajoling to take the job from his agent, Barton arrives in Los Angeles determined to become the writer for the common man where he insists true stories live. The trouble with Barton, however, is he does not have time for the common man because he has so romanticised their lot as well as his particular quest in speaking for them.
Excellent performances from John Turturo, John Goodman, Judy Davis, John Polito (often overlooked, but his scenes ALWAYS become his!!) and the inimitable Tony Shalub.
I have decided after a slew of Coen Brothers films I currently have in my collection, that any project these guys are involved with deserve more than passing scrutiny.