It’s a truly amazing time to be a Swiftie. Not only did we get a surprise album release from Taylor Swift herself this year (which ended up being Folklore, one of her greatest accomplishments so far), but we have gotten blessed with three films centered around the pop sensation. All in 2020. Firstly, we had the Lana Wilson-directed documentary Miss Americana, which served as an eye-opening and emotional inside look at Swift, her personal life, and how she copes with her inner demons. But alongside that, it was an uplifting and greatly inspiring movie.
Then, we had the City of Lover virtual movie concert, where Swift took the stage in Paris to sing some of the most beloved songs on her seventh album Lover. Fans all around the world were delighted with the end result of the concert film, as it was brimming with cheerfulness and smiles to be had. On top of all of this, we also got confirmation that Swift would be re-recording all of her old music effective immediately, so we should definitely be on the lookout for new versions of fan-favorite classics such as “Bad Blood” and “Back to December” just to name a few.
But the Swifties got lucky once again because we now have a brand new documentary/music-centered film around the singer-songwriter – Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions – an inside and detailed look at the writing process of each and every single song on Folklore. Along the way, she is accompanied by her producers and fellow songwriters Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner.
It’s a film that runs at an impressive one-hundred-and-six minutes yet it feels like thirty minutes in all the best ways. If you are a casual listener of Swift’s music, don’t worry, because this movie is sure to entertain you as well. Yes, the most die-hard Swifties are going to be the people that adore this film the most, but even if you just listen to her every once in a while on the radio, The Long Pond Studio Sessions will provide you with tons of insight on the songs included on Folklore.
The film plays out like this – we see a short clip in which Swift, Antonoff, and Dessner discuss a certain song on the album and talk about their various ideas for the song, how they came up with the concept, what it all means, etc. Then, we transition to the three of them playing that song in the Long Pond Studio. One thing you’ll notice right away is how truly powerful and beautiful Swift’s vocals are. There is definitely no lip-synching here. Every moment in this film is one-hundred-percent pure magic whether it’s the wonderous vocals from Swift, the beautiful piano arrangements by Dessner, or the soothing guitar chords from Antonoff.
There really is something for everybody in The Long Pond Studio Sessions. It may not be an incredibly deep-diving documentary that will open your eyes in shocking and revealing ways the way Miss Americana did, but this is sure to be a welcomed surprise for fans of arguably the biggest pop-star in the world.
Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions is a massively entertaining and knowledgable music-centered documentary sure to delight casual or hardcore fans of Taylor Swift.
Overall Grade: A
MPAA Rating: TV-14
Directed by: Taylor Swift
Distributed by: Disney+
Release Date: November 25, 2020
Running Time: 106 minutes