Vanity Fair Reviews "Where Is Kyra?" Directed By Little Minx's Andrew Dosunmu
Last year, Michelle Pfeiffer returned to movie screens with a supporting-performance one-two punch—in Mother! and Murder on the Orient Express. And this April, the three-time Oscar-nominated actress returns to proper leading-lady capacity in Where Is Kyra?, a poignant tragedy that devastated audiences at the Sundance Film Festival.
In the first trailer, shared exclusively with Vanity Fair, Pfeiffer stars as the titular Kyra, a middle-aged divorcee who seems to be psychically, emotionally, and financially drowning when she moves into her ailing mother’s Brooklyn apartment and attempts to regain control of her life. From Mother of George director Andrew Dosunmu and screenwriter Darci Picoult (based on a story by Dosunmu), Where Is Kyra? tracks Pfeiffer’s on-screen descent into the kind of inescapable economic crises plaguing too many real-life people. (Interestingly, Pfeiffer also portrayed the flip side of this coin not too long ago, as Ruth Madoff in HBO’s The Wizard of Lies.) Kiefer Sutherland, Sam Robards, and Suzanne Shepherd co-star in the film, which opens on April 6.
At Sundance, Dosunmu told Variety that he was inspired to tell a story about “the invisibility of the elderly and the disenfranchised and how we try to avoid them” after living in New York, and walking past those people every day.
“A lot of people end up being there not because of their own fault but because of circumstances,” said Dosunmu. “Most people live one paycheck to another. What happens when you lose your job? You lose everything. That’s what happens to this character. She’s lost her husband. She’s lost her job. She’s lost her mom. And she’s just trying to survive.”
After Where Is Kyra?’s Sundance premiere, Variety declared “it a positive joy to see [Pfeiffer] playing a living, breathing, bruised human being—even if ‘joy’ is not a word likely to be re-used in any description of this sad, shattered character study.”
Last year, Pfeiffer publicly acknowledged her disappearance from Hollywood, explaining, “I’ve never lost my love for acting. I’m a more balanced person, honestly, when I’m working. But I was pretty careful about where I shot, how long I was away, whether or not it worked out with the kids’ schedule. And I got so picky that I was unhireable. And then . . . I don’t know, time just went on . . . I disappeared, yeah.”
After her kids grew older, Pfeiffer said, she was finally able to return to acting on her own terms.
“When the student is ready, the teacher appears. I’m more open now, my frame of mind, because I really want to work now, because I can. And these last few years I’ve had some really interesting opportunities.”