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 hit the Internet on Friday night, Swift attended a premiere of the project — which she wrote and directed — at the AMC Lincoln Square 13 (a multiplex with the same number of screens as her favourite number) in New York City.
The theatre was packed with her fans, who wore red, naturally, and cheered and sang along at Swift’s own encouragement.
Swift has never commented on the exact origins of ‘All Too Well’ which came out nearly 10 years ago. But according to clues put together by her followers, the song details Swift’s painful breakup from Jake Gyllenhaal, who dated the singer in 2010.
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Before the short film started, Swift thanked her fans for helping her create “a cinematic universe around” the song.
“For me personally, this song is 100 per cent about us and you,” Swift told the group, as she explained how ‘All Too Well’ didn’t even have its own music video when she released her album Red.
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.
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In the new lyrics to the song, Swift sings: “You kept me like a secret and I kept you like an oath/You said if we had been closer in age maybe it would have been fine, and that made me want to die.”
The movie features dialogue — mostly fighting — between the lead actors: Sadie Sink (Stranger Things) as a younger Swift, and Dylan O’Brien (as presumably Gyllenhaal). In real life, Gyllenhaal is nine years older than Swift.
For those who have loved and wondered about the basis of ‘All Too Well’ over the years, the video offers new glimpses (we think). In one scene, the male character complains that his girlfriend is too quiet around his friends, and she — in 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, left at her boyfriend’s sister’s house (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.
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As the crowd entered the theatre on Friday afternoon, they were handed a packet of tissues with the name of the song.
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 theatre.
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