Tracking an Author: Francine Prose

I enjoyed reading Prose’s reviews, so I looked for another by her. Luckily, Prose weighed in on the movie “Mother!” In her review in the New York Review of Books, Prose addresses the controversies surrounding the movie. She lists some of the divisions between critics: they are angry at the lack of complex characters, some disliked the constant assault of women in the film, and the list goes on. Prose presents these critiques with equal weight and qualifies them with her own thoughts that dismantle the argument with only half a sentence. As an example: “Some objected to the level of violence against women, though one might argue that by the end, the carnage seems gender-blind.”

Prose leads readers to her/the real reason the movie was a bust. She quoted the movie’s director, Darren Aronofsky, where he said that he had a breakthrough: use the stories of the Bible to tell the story of humanity. Prose’s response did not hold back: “The story of humanity? One may wind up concluding that by far the most terrifying thing about Mother! is that Darren Aronofsky seems to be Hollywood’s idea of an intellectual, our own brainy, home-grown auteur.” This is how she concludes her review, which made sense. Prose started the review off in a similar way you inform someone that their essay you just proofread sucked: she began with compliments and slowly descended into pure disgust.

Meghan Brody

Meghan Brody. B.A. History & Writing. LSA Senior. Aspiring librarian.

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