Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink could not have been more perfectly cast for this music video. I might get a lot of heat for this, but I’m going to say it—I don’t like “All Too Well” as a song. It’s an uncomfortable track to listen to, and the All Too Well short film unsurprisingly makes it even worse. But where art is concerned, it’s nothing short of marvelous.
As Carrie Fisher so brilliantly put it—”take your broken heart and turn it into art.” And that’s exactly what Taylor Swift does with the All Too Well short film. She encompasses the broken hearts of so many women who’ve lived through manipulation, heartaches, and even the too often romanticized age gap that men like to play up as an excuse for way more derogatory sh-t than we have time for right now. That’s not the point of this review. We’re here to talk about art.
Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink take the dark memories Swift shares with All Too Well and create a masterpiece through it. It’s almost too jarring to even watch O’Brien in a role like this because he escapes so brilliantly into it, you don’t want to see him in it. He’s too charming for that.
A picture of a broken relationship, bit by bit, angle by angle, and frame by frame O’Brien and Sink both do such an exemplary job of bringing the uncomfortable truth behind the story to life. In the short moment where there’s actual dialogue, I needed to pause to properly prepare myself because talk about a deeply uncomfortable moment.
Sink was so brilliantly evocative in that scene right before the verbal argument, where she shows a plethora of heartaches that are budding through the surface. There is something so horrific about someone pushing your hand aside, and the look in her eyes at that moment is crushing. And O’Brien brings such distressing manipulation to life with the hot and cold behavior. I could sit here for hours just deconstructing each of their performances, but they’ve done such a remarkable job with them, it’s actually hard to watch. And isn’t that the mark of a great feature sometimes? When it evokes such gut-wrenching feelings, you can’t look at it anymore.
The All Too Well short film is so well done; if Taylor Swift can get this film presented for consideration, she absolutely should. Because if nothing else, people who aren’t fans should watch the masterful display of emotions from Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink.
The storytelling, the scenic moments, the good, the bad, the ugly, it’s all captured in a way that’s engaging and thought-proving.
Taylor Swift’s Red (Taylor’s Version) is now available to stream everywhere.