The Swifties have spoken. If they had their way, “All Too Well: The Short Film” would sweep the Oscars and Grammys too.
Before the 10-minute film is released later tonight, Swift attended a premiere of the project — which she wrote and directed — on Friday afternoon at the AMC Lincoln Square 13 (which has the same number of screens as her favorite number) in New York City. The theater was packed with her fans, who wore red, naturally, and cheered and sang along at Swift’s own encouragement.
“For me personally, this song is 100 percent about us and you,” Swift told the group, as she explained how “All Too Well” was a song that didn’t even have its own music video when she released “Red” on her 2012 album.
That’s all changed now. “All Too Well: The Short Film” is like a music video on steroids meets a Noah Baumbach movie. It’s set to Swift’s 10-minute, extended version of “All Too Well,” a bonus track part of Swift’s “Red (Taylor’s Version),” which was released on Friday morning. The movie features dialogue too — mostly fighting — between the lead actors: Sadie Sink (“Stranger Things”) as a younger Swift, and Dylan O’Brien (as presumably Jake Gyllenhaal, whose brief relationship with Swift in 2010 is rumored to be the basis of the song).
For those who have loved and wondered about the basis of “All Too Well” over the years, the video offers new glimpses (we think) into a breakup that happened more than a decade ago. In one scene, the male character complains that his girlfriend is too quiet around his friends, and she — fighting back tears — blames him for not holding her hand at the dinner table.
He also doesn’t attend her 21st birthday, and there’s an appearance of the infamous scarf that’s a lyric in the song (and also featured in a real-life paparazzi shot of Swift walking with Gyllenhaal).
Swift appears in a cameo as herself at the end, in a sequence where she’s written a novel called “All Too Well” based on the doomed relationship.
As the crowd entered the theater, they were handed a packet of tissues.
The screening ended with Swift performing the 10-minute version of “All Too Well” live with a red guitar. She then played the movie again, as she left the theater.
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