Let's get one thing clear, you have not seen Michelle Pfeiffer like this. Typically known for playing alluring beauties, Pfeiffer's stunning looks are not the star here. Instead, she gets to play a darker, deeper character that showcases her best work in a lengthy career.
First introduced obscured and then out of focus, Kyra is a woman trapped by her situation. Having moved back with her ailing mom, Kyra is recently divorced and unemployed. When her mother dies, Kyra's situation grows desperate quick. She soon begins taking desperate and dangerous actions to keep herself afloat. In the process, she meets Doug (Kiefer Sutherland) and starts a relationship driven by loneliness.
Director Andrew Dosunmu explores the daily grind of Kyra's existence while ever so slightly racking up the tension. Working with the immensely talented cinematographer Bradford Young, Dosunmu favors wide shots from afar, keeping us in the role as voyeur or spy rather than co-conspirator with Kyra. Young's framing is often beautiful in the way it isolates Kyra from her surrounding. Using shadows and low light, he creates some
very memorable scenes with his camera.
Where is Kyra? shifts between a bleak character study and a stressful movie about consequences. However, the film never seems to wallow in misery. Instead, the film is imbued with a deep sense of empathy for Kyra and her situation. The connection Kyra has with Doug is genuinely affecting and sweet at times for instance.
At the center of the film though is Pfeiffer who makes Kyra into a complex character who feels so real. In a moment when she goes to her ex-husband for money, Pfeiffer is stunning as she shows Kyra's instinct for survival over any shame or pride. It will go down as one of the year's very best performances and should not be missed.