Click here to return to the main site.

DVD Review

DVD cover

High Heels


Starring: Victoria Abril, Marisa Paredes and Miguel Bosé
Optimum World
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 18
Available 17 August 2009

Rebecca Giner has always lived in her mother’s shadow, even to the point of marrying one of her ex lovers. After an absence of fifteen years, her mother Becky Del Paramo crashes back into her life. The event coincides with the murder of Rebecca’s husband and both mother and daughter fall quickly back into their old psychological duel...

High Heels (Tacones Lejanos (1991) 1 hr, 49 min, 24 sec) is another study of a woman ‘at the edge’ by writer/director Pedro Almodóvar. The film won nine awards and was nominated for a further seven, including a Golden Globe for best foreign film.

Like most of Almodóvar’s films - Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988), Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990) - this is very much an acquired taste with its mixture of melodrama, psychological complexity and dance sequences.

Victoria Abril plays Rebecca with a razor edge portrayal of pseudo madness. Her confusion over her relationship with her mother even makes her confess to her own husband’s murder, apparently just to protect the woman she loves/hates. Marisa Paredes portrayal of the mother is equally edgy, a pop singer in her youth, she now views herself as some kind of elder stateswomen of music, spending her time with friends of her daughter - drag queens who, through their performances, reflect her previous glory.

With her confession signed it would seem that Rebecca’s fate is sealed until a local policeman takes on her case not believing that she is the murder. Being an Almodóvar film Miguel Bosé’s character is also suitably off the wall. Living at home with his mother, who insists that she is dying of any currently popular diseases, he sports an oddly false beard, the reason for which is explained in the latter half of the film.

The husband's murder is almost incidental in the exploration of three characters that only just make it onto this side of stable. The narrative structure of the film likewise keeps the audience on their toes as it swings between musical numbers, touching scenes of reconciliation between mother and daughter. The oddest and most memorable sequence is where Rebecca, who works as a news reader, announces the death of her husband and her own complicity, whilst next to her the signer for the deaf, who was one of her husband’s lovers, tries to sign what is being said.

The film is presented with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 with a Spanish stereo 2.0 track; the disc has optional English subtitles. There are no extras. There is a little grain on the film, but otherwise the primary colour palette is a delight on the eyes.

For fans of Almodóvar’s work this will be a welcome addition to the collection, but it still has a lot to offer a general audience. It’s just a shame the disc has no extras whatsoever.


Charles Packer

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£9.98 (
£9.99 (
£9.99 (
£12.77 (
£12.77 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.