Tuesday, September 18, 2007

High Heels

Tacones lejanos; Drama, Spain/ France, 1991; D: Pedro Almodóvar, S: Victoria Abril, Marisa Paredes, Miguel Bosé, Féodor Atkine, Anna Lizaran, Mayrata O'Wisiedo

Madrid, '74. Rebeca (27) waits in an airport at her beloved mother Becky. The last time she saw her she was 12 years old because Becky went and stayed on Mexican territory to build a movie career. The long awaited reunion is spoiled by Becky's cold mood. She is also surprised to find out that Rebeca married her ex-lover Manuel and now works as a TV news presenter. Rebeca's friend is transvestite Femme Letal. A month later Rebeca kills Manuel and admits everything, but discovers she is pregnant by Letal - who is also the main police investigator of the case! In order to save her daughter, Becky, on her death bed, announces she killed Manuel.

Many critics praised Almodovar's serious film "All About My Mother" , but almost ignored his earlier work "High Heels", the forerunner of that film that is more focused on relationships. Truly, "High Heels" talk about the relationship between a child and mother as much as "All About My Mother", but with sharpness and a tight point that manifest themselves despite an mild exposition thanks to the sharp twists. On this occasion, Almodovar dropped his campy tone and delivered a rather serious, dramatic and emotional feminine story, but still handles quirky humor the best: in one scene, Rebeca (excellent Victoria Abril) spots a secretary writing something and asks her mother what, upon which she replies with: "She is writing my autobiography". Rebeca's husband was her mother's former lover, Manuel. When he gets killed, Rebeca, who is the TV news presenter, live in front of the audience announces that she is the murderer, so cops arrest her in the show. And on top of that, the case is analyzed by a transvestite inspector. Unlike "Kika", here the bizarreness seem cleverly staged. Nominated for a Golden Globe in the category of best foreign language film, "Heels" are a cheerful, vibrant and upbeat drama of a mother-daughter relationship where the daughter tries everything to impress her, full of catchy colors and nice feel.


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