This is a very grim subject put in to a very light hearted place (at least light hearted in the minds of the American Public). And you have everyone being a dunce that you would expect to be a dunce except for the one person that you would think would be the biggest dunce. Francis McDormand's character is surprising capable and intelligent whilst retaining some of that Minnesotan non-confrontational attitude. But if you need an example of femanism and breaking stereotypes - it resides in this character.
Beyond the cool character - the film is fun, it is funny, it is serious a bit, and it is a good watch.