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A Pfeiffer Portrait of Devastating Despair

by Murtada

The year of Michelle Pfeiffer continues. We’ve seen the trailer and pictures from Murder on the Orient Express. We've seen the poster for mother! (sacrilege she’s not on it). We’ve seen her on HBO as Ruth Madoff. And now her Sundance film, Where is Kyra?, made its way to Brooklyn and played at BAMCinemaFest last weekend.

Andrew Dosunmu (Mother of George) collaborates once again with Bradford Young to gorgeous results. This time Pfeiffer’s transfixing visage supplements their beautiful frames with movie star magic...

The story follows Kyra, a 50-something out of work recent divorcee who’s falling into a pit of hopelessness. She can’t find work and her elderly mother, on whose pension she relies, suddenly dies. She meets another person trying to stay afloat (Kiefer Sutherland) and even genuine affection and companionship does not seem to help either of them. It’s a devastating story of utter despair and the crazy choices it forces on Kyra.

Dosunmu said that he was inspired by Cindy Sherman, and every frame is a tableau come to sumptuous life. And in Pfeiffer’s face he’s found the perfect vessel. Whole scenes play just on her face even when other actors are present in the scene. It’s intimate yet unsettling because of the melancholic story. I was the beat up little seagull watching this. It was hard to watch because Pfeiffer makes one root hard for Kyra even as she makes one disastrous choice after another. The film hits close to home. We could all become Kyra, suddenly too old to find employment. So I was grateful for the one homage to Pfeiffer’s stardom, a slo-mo scene of her joyfully jumping rope with a few kids.

Unfortunately the film does not have a US distributor yet. We can understand why. This is the type of movie that luxuriates in the ritual of preparing a bath and devotes many minutes to taking it in. But come on, it’s Pfeiffer. It’s Pfeiffer in almost every frame. It can be marketed just as that. Many will be there opening weekend for her. Don’t deny us this movie, money people.

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Reader Comments (13)

You had me "It's Pfeiffer in every frame",she can never fill a frame enough for me.

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

I couldn't agree more!!!! The money people are killing me! I CANNOT wait for this film!

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterReneCat

I am dying to see this. Love Michelle since forever.

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterferdi

Someone needs to release this in October and campaign Pfeiffer for the win.

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

Ha TFE is hardly the place to read an unbiased review of a Pfieffer film. I'll take all said here with a healthy dose of skepticism.

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

Anonny: Well please, by all means go read the Variety review, or the Film Stage review, or the Screen Daily review, or the TimeOut New York review, or the IndieWire review. She got raves from all of those and they are positive on the film overall.

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLaLaBland

I am sure she will be great in the movie. My concern is that she has been away from films
For so long that people will not go on her name alone. Hope I am wrong.

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered Commenternatalie

I can't wait to watch this...she's gonna hit every note (something tells me that)!

June 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJans

Well I am predicting Michelle and Glenn SHOULD get their first Oscars next year. Michelle for 'Mother' - supporting actress and Glenn for 'The Wife' - best actress. It would be criminal if these 2 magnificent actresses get treated like Barbra Stanwyck and Deborah Kerr ( honorary Oscars only).

June 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBette Streep

Sorry, but Michelle's career doesn't have make a credible case for an honorary Oscar- unless she somehow cultivates a huge comeback--- it's been over two decades!

June 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMiguel

tanks for this post.

June 24, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterincrease-height

I watched Mother of George recently and was impressed with Andrew Dosunmu's use of colour and gentle camera move.
The photos from Where is Kyra? suggest that he has kept his beautiful aesthetics. The plot seems mature and innovative. I hope the film is good.
One of the reasons why I have been a Pfeiffer pfan for so many years is this kind of personal commitment to choosing characters and stories like this.

June 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarcelo - Brazil

I can't wait to see this. Its odd as it's been at festivals but there is still no trailer.

June 27, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterChris R

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