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Diana Saenger’s “Catching Fire” Can’t Find a Spark

In response to Diana Saenger’s 574‑word review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on

By ,

There’s an artfulness to the way good critics knit their critiques into captivating prose and that skill is primarily what separates an A. O. Scott from a Diana Saenger.  

Saenger may have the ability to take apart the individual components that make up a film (though this is also in question), but she lacks the dexterity and artistry to communicate this to an audience in an entertaining or even coherent way.  

Her “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is a perfect illustration. In it, Saenger spends the first half of the review giving detailed descriptions of irrelevant (at least in terms of plot description or criticism) moments from the film as if blabbing her favorite scenes equals being a critic.  

The review does finally settle into something resembling analysis, but unfortunately, Saenger decides it’s a good idea to list the things she liked about the movie in one sentence and separate them with commas before moving on to a detailed evaluation of a wedding dress from the film (the only real criticism here).

While this could be a valid area to offer critique, it’s really only appropriate after all the other bases are thoroughly covered, something Saenger has completely neglected to do.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation