This Coen brothers film works as a very sharply observed black comedy complete with their favourite vignette of a leader with a Hitler complex: a tyrant behind a desk at the other end of the room from the viewer and the central character. Goodman is a joy to behold in the kind of ( the smoothtalking, unreasonably affable psycho) he would reprise in their later work O Brother, Where Art Thou? And in the title role Turturo does, as one critic who seriously disliked the film said, offer the most "fanatically detailed caricature of a nerd since the heyday of Jerry Lewis". But for all that it is very funny indeed. Fink is loosely based on Clifford Odets, a playwright whose dream of theatre for the common man evaporated in the swimming pools of Beverly Hills, but this is not an attack on Odets or anyone else. You could even argue that it's a warning by the Coen to themselves not to lose their own individuality in the smooth path to hell that Hollywood can be.
Director: Joel Coen Cast: John Turturo, John Goodman, Judy Davis, John Mahoney


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