All Too Well: The Short Film

All Too Well: The Short Film ★★★

Comparing the two versions of "All Too Well," it's a lot like Almost Famous: the theatrical cut is a perfectly-calibrated machine that works better as a Movie, but if you're in the bag for what it's doing, the undisciplined and idiosyncratic Untitled: The Bootleg Cut is going to hit you just as hard. As for the short, these is-it-a-film-or-is-it-a-music-video situations break my brain, and this broke my brain even more than Halsey's because the original "All Too Well" directs tortured tableaux in the listener's mind better than any filmmaker ever could. The dialogue scenes are so blistering and effective that one wishes they weren't obligated to be interrupted by a music video; the musical passages, though beautifully-shot, are so annoyingly literal that one wishes this could've been more of an adaptation than a beat-for-beat visualization. Regardless, I'm sure I'll watch it ten more times and think or feel something different each time. Taylor is extraordinarily good at that.

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