‘All Too Well’ Short Film Review (Grace’s Version)


Grace Rivera

Album cover courtesy of Republic Records and UMG. Screenshot from Apple Music account.

Grace Rivera, Editor-in-Chief

The announcement that left Taylor Swift supporters and skeptics hooked, Swift revealed that she would re-record her fourth studio-album, Red and it would be paired with the release of a short film titled All Too Well. Written and directed by Swift, this short film starred Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien shot in 35mm. The running time was about 15 minutes, with a majority of the video playing the beloved song ‘All Too Well’ (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault). 

All Too Well was originally the fifth track on Taylor Swift’s 2012 version of Red. It was 5 minutes 28 seconds, by far the lengthiest song on the album. Fans adore this song for the intricate detailed lyrics and the capture of the versatile range of emotions portrayed through a relationship. Although never a single, the song gained a cult following with references to “the scarf” that was kept by the ex-boyfriend of Swift and possibly still has to this day. The song is rumored to be about actor Jake Gyllenhaal and Swift’s relationship which has caused a massive uproar with the recent release of the re-recorded album and short film. Major companies like Duolingo, The Radio City Rockettes, and Keepler have made comments, videos, and ads commenting on the supposed heartbreak caused by Gyllenhaal.

Courtesy of Taylor Swift’s website and edited by SINGmeAsadSONG

Since its release on November 12, 2021, Swift has gained praise only a few could handle. With beautiful scenery, the short film had rustic and naturalistic scenery with the most vibrant color being, of course, red.  The sets of this short film were spectacularly set up with choices made by Swift that fans speculate to be ‘Easter eggs’, hidden clues about her next album or career move. If you weren’t captured by the spectacular acting of Sink and O’Brien (I don’t know how one wouldn’t be) or the stylings of Swift, (Again. How?), the scenery alone would make one want to continue watching it. The homey feeling of autumn makes the audience feel nostalgic before their hearts are ripped out by O’Brien’s character breaking off the relationship. 

Throughout the short film Sink and O’Brien’s characters were visibly comfortable being in each other’s presence yet there was an air of unease watching them together. The casting perfectly captured the ability for the audience to watch with admiration and apprehension, delight and disquietude. One can accept them being together in a relationship however there is something off. 

The kitchen scene. The. Kitchen. Scene. After 2 minutes of yelling back and forth at each other O’Brien’s character wraps his hands around Sink and repeats “I’m sorry” and says “I’m sorry I dropped your hand” almost as if he was saying it to be the bigger person rather than actually recognize her feelings and wipes her tears away. I hate to say it but I would be lying if I said I didn’t melt along with Sink. This is the perfect project for Swift to make her directorial debut. The thought process behind it, the casting, the music, every choice made created a story that is relatable, tumultuous, and irresistible. With the dropping of the hand, the manipulation, the bittersweet memories of the relationship, the audience can’t help but feel like they know this story all too well.