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On 27 September 2011, it was reported that the music video for the song was already filmed in Paris, France and it was directed by English director Jake Nava. Several black-and-white pictures which showed Adele "gazing out over a river against a cloudy backdrop" were also posted. Later, the same day, MTV posted a 30-second preview of the video which showed Adele slowly walking on a road. Talking about the video, Nava said, "The location evokes style and romance. And shooting early in the morning allows you to focus on Adele in this lonely and emotional space." The video premiered on 29 September at 7:56 p.m. EST on MTV and Vevo.
The video begins with a shot of a road in Paris and Adele is seen walking on it alone. She continues to walk and starts singing the song with a sad look as the camera makes circles and shots more locations in Paris including the Eiffel Tower. During the second chorus, Adele stops lip-synching and looks in Seine, a river in Paris. She continues walking alone through the streets during the bridge and at the end she goes in a building in which she sees her ex-lover. After seeing her, he starts to walk away and several shots of Adele looking at him follow.
James Montgomery of MTV News called the video "a somber, black-and-white affair, featuring Adele wandering the early morning streets and pining for her long-lost love. It's a perfect match for the song's jaw-dropping emotional range — raw and unfiltered and incredibly sad but also, in a lot of ways, beautiful and resolute." In another review of the video he praised its black-and-white shots saying that "director Jake Nava made the smart decision to shoot it in arty, smudgy black-and-white, which only adds to the clip's desolate, haunted feel." He added that "there are no special effects, no camera tricks or elaborate choreography, because those are quick fixes" and called Adele the "Queen of Pain." A writer of the website HitFix concluded that the video is "in keeping with the singer's subdued style" and added that its vibe fits with the "melancholy tune." Entertainment Weekly's Tanner Stransky called the video "quiet" and said that "it's just what you'd want to see for this break-up heart-wrencher." Krista Wick of Entertainment Tonight praised the video for being "more than enough to accompany Adele's soulful vocals."
Amanda Dobbins of New York magazine concluded that "the secretly devastating video" for "Someone Like You" will remind Adele's ex-lover what he has done by leaving her. A writer of The Huffington Post praised the simplicity and the sadness in the video. Sarah Dean of the same publication called it an "uncomplicated, moving film" and wrote, "the video is nothing more than Adele wandering around the deserted city of love alone, under its grey skies, singing her sorrowful notes, but because it’s her, we don’t need any more." That was somehow echoed by Jason Lipshutz of Billboard magazine who said that the video was "simply constructed as the song's vocal-and-piano arrangement." Marc Hogan of Spin said that the scene in which Adele looks in the camera, "speak[s] for itself" about the sadness in the video. Andrew Matson of The Seattle Times said, "the song of the year now has a simple, perfect video: Adele in Paris, singing and strolling, apparently processing the breakup detailed in the song's lyrics. The look on her face during the 'I wish nothing but the best for you' line is the best, just gutting, a real achievement how she plays it cold but not sarcastic. I think in times of emotional devastation, everyone wants stand on a bridge over the Seine on a cold day, squinting into the wind, sorting it out."
A writer of Rolling Stone wrote: "This clip for the ballad 'Someone Like You' sticks to the singer's simple but emotionally direct approach with black and white footage that lingers on her subtly expressive face as she lip-synchs to the tune while walking along sad, grey city streets." Andrea Devaro of Long Island Press concluded, "its simplicity beautifully portrays the complexity of emotions invoked in the song." Leah Collins of Dose called Adele "'60s bombshell glam" and said that the video's "simplicity is its strength." She added: "There's something about streetlamps, cafes and the River Seine that lend an air of melancholic elegance to what would otherwise be just another walk of shame by a girl with two-day-old hair. Not everyone gets to indulge in moments as tragic but beautiful as a weepy solitary walk through Paris landmarks. But then, we don't all have voices as tragic and beautiful as Adele's either." A more mixed review was given by AOL's Ashley Percival who called the video predictable and added "It's all very pleasant, but after all this time, what's the point?". Nicole Eggenberger of OK! wrote that Adele "created the perfect music video to go along with her hauntingly beautiful ballad" and further described it as "simple [but] yet stunning."
|Albums||First Demo · 19 · iTunes Live from SoHo · 21 · iTunes Festival: London 2011 · Live at the Royal Albert Hall · Third Album|
|Singles||"Hometown Glory" · "Chasing Pavements" · "Cold Shoulder" · "Many Shades of Black" · "Make You Feel My Love" · "Water and a Flame" · "Rolling in the Deep" · "Someone Like You" · "Set Fire to the Rain" · "Rumour Has It" · "Turning Tables" · "Skyfall"|
|Music Videos||"Hometown Glory" · "Chasing Pavements" · "Cold Shoulder" · "Make You Feel My Love" · "Melt My Heart to Stone" · "Rolling in the Deep" · "Someone Like You" · "Set Fire to the Rain" · "Turning Tables"|
|Other songs||"My Same" · "My Yvonne" · "Every Glance" · "Lovesong" · "I'll Be Waiting" · More...|
|Tours||An Evening with Adele · Adele Live (cancelled — vocal hemorrhage)|
|Family||Penny Adkins · Mark Evans · Cameron Evans · John Evans · Rose Evans · John Adkins · Doreen Adkins · Anita Adkins · Louie · Simon Konecki · Angelo James Konecki|