AARP Eye Center
Like many people who turn 60 on April 29, three-time Oscar nominee Michelle Pfeiffer has much to celebrate, as well as some regrets. For example, she wishes she hadn’t turned down movies that earned a collective $1.5 billion and fetched Oscar and Golden Globe honors for her contemporaries Jodie Foster, Julia Roberts, Geena Davis, Meg Ryan and Sharon Stone (The Silence of the Lambs, Pretty Woman, Thelma & Louise, Sleepless in Seattle and Casino). “I got so picky that I … disappeared,” she has said. “My agent’s nickname for me is Dr. No.”
Mostly, the problem was that she wanted to spend time raising her kids, not missing them on a film set. But she’s been saying yes to big roles lately, after decades of intentional underemployment. After her youngest turned 21 in 2015, she revved up a career renaissance. As investment adviser Bernie Madoff’s wife, Ruth, in The Wizard of Lies, she earned her first Emmy nomination and her seventh Golden Globe nom (her first since Scorsese’s 1993 movie The Age of Innocence). Her stylish turn as a sexy, haughty widow helped launch Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express as a $350 million franchise. Playing Eve throwing shade at Jennifer Lawrence in the Garden of Eden allegory Mother!, she earned A-plus reviews in a baffling flick that got an F on Cinemascore. And her illustrious past gets a spotlight April 19 in New York at the Tribeca Film Festival's 35th-anniversary tribute to Scarface, where she’ll join a panel discussion with costar Al Pacino, 77.
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First, however, comes the Sundance Film Festival smash Where Is Kyra?, her best shot at an Oscar in at least 16 years (since her last great performance, as a murderous mom in 2002’s White Oleander). In the film opening this month, she plays a divorcee who goes broke when her disabled mother, for whom she is a loving caretaker, passes away. She can’t find a job because, as she says, “I’m no spring chicken.” Then she meets a troubled cabbie (Kiefer Sutherland, 51), and her destitution spirals out of control. It’s relentlessly downbeat but daringly glamour-free and artistically dazzling, and director Andrew Dosunmu says the film exists to remedy “the invisibility of the elderly and the disenfranchised.”