“Where Is Kyra?”
For fans of “Klute,” “99 Homes” and Gena Rowlands movies
Written by Darci Picoult • Directed by Andrew Dosunmu
Starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Kiefer Sutherland, Suzanne Shepherd and Sam Robards
“Some people say it almost feels like a horror film,” Darci Picoult, the writer of “Where Is Kyra?,” said. “It becomes this terrorizing psychological deterioration.”
Those horror trappings are evident in Picoult’s sparse script, but they’re largely owed to Andrew Dosunmu’s shadowy direction. Working with Oscar-nominated cinematographer Bradford Young (“Selma,” “Arrival”), Dosunmu shades Michelle Pfeiffer’s titular Brooklynite with fuzzy grays and anesthetized blues. Laid off from her job and cashing her late mother’s pension checks for income, Kyra is often framed from a distance, the atrophy she’s facing as she nears senior citizenship foregrounded to reveal a genre of poverty rarely explored in popular culture.
Picoult wrote “Where Is Kyra?” in 2013, surveying the aftereffects of the late 2000s’ economic crisis. She first set the movie in Detroit, which filed for bankruptcy that same summer. But Picoult and Dosunmu, who also collaborated on the Nigerian drama “Mother of George,” relocated the backdrop to New York, where the glaring disparity between haves and have-nots underscores everyday economic strife. What is a middle-aged woman to do when she finds herself unemployed and undesirable, reduced to placing advertisements on vehicles’ windshields and being turned down for gigs at fast-food restaurants in favor of younger candidates?
“I always envisioned Kyra being someone who, if you will, had a life that had promise, someone who believed things were going to work out,” Picoult said. “And then, when they don’t, it becomes even more disparaging because she’s holding on, hoping for something better that doesn’t happen.”
Pfeiffer, who made something of a comeback last year with “mother!” and “Murder on the Orient Express,” has found one of the richest roles of her career, looking more desperate with each rejection and more weathered with each dignity-shattering wakeup. Kyra’s corner of the world struggles to blossom into anything sunnier; farther and farther she drifts down the rabbit hole of anguish, Pfeiffer’s oceanic eyes absorbing every psychic bruise.
Read the original article at HUFFPOST