The central myth propagated by the annual Academy Awards telecast is that Hollywood is one big happy family of mutually supportive artists in thrall to the sacred muse of inspiration. (We'll pause for a minute while you stop laughing …) You know better, and here are seven harsh beauties to blot out all those Oscar night air kisses. Don't expect a happy ending.
Barton Fink (1991)
A progressive, intellectual New York playwright (inspired by Odets and played by John Turturro) cashes in with a screenwriting gig in L.A. circa 1941. The Coen brothers take enormous and perhaps undue pleasure in mapping Barton's Hollywood highway of hell. John Goodman repeats, “Here's to the life of the mind.” Indeed.