June 20, 2021

The year of Laura Dern

What a year it’s been for Laura Dern. She’s in two Oscar-nominated movies: as the kind-hearted mother of the March sisters in “Little Women”; and as a razor-sharp divorce lawyer in “Marriage Story.” She’s kind of fierce, but it’s the kind of fierce that makes award voters take notice.

Dern won a Golden Globe for “Marriage Story” earlier this month, and this past Monday she was nominated for an Oscar.

Correspondent Tracy Smith asked, “So, you’ve gotten accolades for your work before through the years, steadily. But it seems like there’s something about this moment that is rather intense. Does it feel that way to you?”

“It’s certainly exciting,” Dern replied.

And a lot of that excitement is about her monologue on motherhood, written by “Marriage Story” director Noah Baumbach:

“We can accept an imperfect Dad. Let’s face it, the idea of a good father was only invented like 30 years ago. Before that fathers were expected to be silent and absent and unreliable and selfish, and we can all say that we want them to be different, but on some basic level we accept them. We love them for their fallibilities. But people absolutely don’t accept those same failings in mothers. We don’t accept it structurally, and we don’t accept it spiritually, because the basis of our Judeo-Christian Whatever is Mary, Mother of Jesus and she’s PERFECT. She’s a virgin who gives birth, unwaveringly supports her child, and holds his dead body when he’s gone. But the Dad isn’t there!'”

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