NEW YORK (OSV News) – Early on in the history of film, stage actors had to make the transition from the outsized gestures and expressions needed to convey emotion to a crowded theater to the restraint required by the intimacy of the camera. The same contrast is always likely to be highlighted in a movie dedicated to capturing a lavish stadium music concert.
Those attending “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” (AMC Theaters) will discover that the titular singer-songwriter – the current doyenne of breakup songs – is aware of this. Just as the smirks and eye rolls of some of her numbers become cloying, the solo balladeer emerges and equilibrium is restored.
While Swift can be credited with aesthetic insight, parents of teens clamoring to see her on screen will be concerned with other matters. In a world of ultra-raunchy rap and the obscenity-laden lyrics often found even outside that genre, Swift shows considerable moderation. A smattering of vulgar words aside, her performance is more glitzy than gritty. So, although her preteen fans may have to be kept away from this production, older teens can probably be given the green light.
They’ll find “Eras” a lively recap of all 10 of her studio albums across 17 years. Directed by Sam Wrench, the footage was compiled from concerts at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, outside Los Angeles, during Swift’s ongoing tour.
This is, then, no valedictory. Rather, it’s a powerful summation of Swift’s life and work so far. The idea is to craft an experience just as communal and immersive as the vocalist’s live events. Audience members, for instance, are encouraged to sing along. Yet in a movie theater the noise is not overwhelming, making it possible to concentrate on Swift in all her sparkly glory throughout.
Little exposition is provided. Instead, there’s continuous music, enhanced by CGI special effects and a bit of dancing. By contrast to some of the documentaries in which Swift has featured in the past, no backstage segments are included and no forum is given to her opinions.
Her lyrics do, however, address the loneliness of her level of stardom and hint, pretty consistently, at past heartbreak. At their poignant best, her songs somehow manage to combine the varied qualities of honky-tonk blues and the sophisticated work of German-born American composer Kurt Weill.
It’ll cost you a lot more than three pennies, though, to have a look.
The film contains fleeting rough and crude language. The OSV News classification is A-III – adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG-13 – parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.