Lawrence O'Toole
January 22, 1993 AT 05:00 AM EST

High Heels

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
112 minutes
performer
Victoria Abril, Marisa Paredes, Javier Bardem, Miguel Bose
director
Pedro Almodovar
distributor
Miramax
author
Pedro Almodovar
genre
Drama, Comedy, Foreign Language

We gave it a C-

With their bright colors and arresting set decoration, movies by Spain’s Pedro Almódovar, such as Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988), show up to terrific advantage on the video screen. But in High Heels, his disingenuous, jokey variation on Ingmar Bergman’s Autumn Sonata, the welcome has worn as the tale precariously treads a thin line between pathos and farce. In it a self-centered, high-strung actress (Marisa Paredes) returns to Madrid after many years only to discover that her neglected daughter (Victoria Abril) has married her former lover, who is then murdered. If only Almodovar could commit to one real emotion. Instead, he’s almost obsessed with being irreverent and hip, and it has become a tired old style. The story of abandonment is rich and affecting, yet ultimately it’s about little more than decor. Pedro, it appears, needs to get back into flats. C-

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