My favorite quote of all time is “Huh?”, which is what William H. Macy answers when asked “What kind of finder’s fee are you looking for (you tube: Fargo (1996) – A Finder’s Fee Scene (4/12) | Movieclips)?” I’ll admit the quote is not as powerful if you don’t see his face, but coupled together the reaction is sublime.
Jerry Lundergard is all of us. We’re trapped in our own little dramas and futile attempts at making mountains from molehills, and all it takes is a simple question to make us look like utter buffoons. Our lives, that we deem as incredibly important, mean so little in the grand scheme of things. Ask the bird on the tree branch, singing every morning, if he’s worried about COVID 19.
The Coen brothers have done this before. In Raising Arizona, a prisoner in group therapy is asked by the prison psychologist/ex-hippie why he uses the word ‘trapped’, to which his deeply wise reply was: “Huh?” I thought, back in 1987 (!) that the bar could not be raised any higher, but the Fargo scene just took this to a whole ’nuther level-it’s why the Coen brothers are so great.
The next time your’re worried about a midterm, or a job interview, or the quarterly reports, or if Agent Orange will be reelected, remember this quote-it’ll put things in the proper perspective.