Perhaps a cousin to The Pursuit of Happyness and Time Out Of Mind is an effectively wrenching character study where a fidgety inquietude is palpable. Even in a recognizable storyline sparely rendered by Darci Picoult where expressions often mean more than dialogue.
Andrew Dosunmu's dimly lit Where Is Kyra? is a showcase of Michelle Pfeiffer's thespian savior faire even for those who enjoyed her supporting turns in The Family,Mother! and Murder on the Orient Express as part of a welcome, if hitherto unsuccessful comeback.
A besmirched look this is in an interesting look at how the marginalized can slip through societal cracks in a gritty Big Apple gloom complemented in splendiferous visual style by lensing artist Bradford Young.
Pfeiffer's title character has an increasing destitute quality after being a caregiver for aging mother Ruth (Suzanne Shepherd) living in the latter's flat when impetuous cashing of disability checks incognito turns out to be an important narrative turn. Two years idle from employment the middle-aged woman's wretchedness is figuratively and actually embodied well as the rent is due. This condition is palliated to a degree by the presence of a not so disconsolate neighbor Doug (a subdued Kiefer Sutherland) in uniting through mutual disassociation.
A jaded restiveness is evident between Kyra and a willing-to-rebound-from-nonfulfillment Doug that isn't quite the deemed romantic underpinning when lives of quiet desperation are concerned. The script turns out to have a taut delicacy even when more than sidestepping occurs without being thought of at all as a nail-biter. An emotive, immersive experience is there to be had in a difficult Where Is Kyra? with much insinuation from intensity scaled sharply by the Nigerian-bred Dosunmu and displayed in throes and regret by a penetrating Pfeiffer.
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