We get a mother-daughter murder melodrama even more farfetched than the Joan Crawford classic, Mildred Pierce, on which this would appear to be loosely based.
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It's an admirable attempt, though a less than completely successful one. The film's disappointments lie not so much in Almodovar's controlled, respectful direction as in the strange gaps and displacements of his screenplay, which never seems to supply the scenes we most want to see. [20 Dec 1991]
The story is stylishly filmed and acted with high spirits, but there's not much going on in many of its colorful shots.
It feels more like a prosaic knockoff than a classically inspired original.
High Heels has no real mirth and not even enough energy to keep it lively.
Mostly it's Paredes' imperious - then surprisingly generous - high-handedness that carries High Heels. [20 Dec 1991]
Those who miss the wildness of his premainstream work will probably be only partially appeased.
High Heels becomes mired in its own best intentions - primary colors and all.
An Almodovar film is always an exercise in style, but High Heels also generates narrative energy and mystery, and provides what was, for me, a genuine surprise at the end.