Francis McDormand plays the overbearing, super intellectual, feminist single mom professor in the movie Almost Famous.
In the Bedroom may have been a little obscure, but I’m pretty sure 85% of America has watched Almost Famous, so you know who I’m talking about.
My own mother considers McDormand’s character in this movie “her hero.” Every time we watch it, I get to listen to my mom’s maniacal laughter every time this quote is uttered:
“Your mom kind of freaked me out.”
Seriously. She LOVES it. LOVES LOVES LOVES IT. I used to debate her reasoning, since she grew up in the 60’s and entered into early adulthood in the 70’s, and went through her own rebellious stages. I asked her why she didn’t identify with the daughter who says to her mom “This song explains why I have to run away to become a stewardess,” having run away from home herself.
I guess it was pretty obvious that I was pleading for my own cause, because when I was a teenager, I felt the same way the daughter in Almost Famous did; my mother “was too intense.” I never ran away to become a flight attendant though.
Anyway, McDormand’s character is a single mom who has her s*** together. She is on the ball. She is smart, well informed and accomplished. She is a tad dramatic, professing “my son has been kidnapped by rock stars” and running out of the room, but hell, she had her reasons.
McDormand was nominated for an Academy Award for this role (as was Marisa Tomei for In the Bedroom, I might add), so obviously single mom characters are pretty hardcore roles to portray. McDormand’s character may be a little on the OCD side, but she is entirely devoted to her kids. She accelerates her son’s education, gives him every opportunity to expand his mind, even though his sister proclaims “You’ve robbed him of an adolescence!”
Despite her obsessive mothering, she loves her kids. She wants to protect them. She wants them to excel. She tries her hardest to make sure they are safe, even in the face of ridicule, screaming “Don’t take drugs!” out the window after her son. She doesn’t give a flying You-know-what about what people think, which makes her a powerful, self-sufficient single mom character.
Even if she is eerily similar to my own mother. (You’re welcome Mom).