Bill Nighy, Carey Mulligan, David Hare, Skylight

Bill Nighy & Carey Mulligan in Skylight

If Britain’s National Theatre Live version of David Hare’s remounted play Skylight, comes to a movie theatre in your area, don’t miss it! It’s a live performance filmed last summer, and, unlike the live opera shown in movie theaters, it isn’t “live, live.” But it isn’t just a camera set up in the back of the theatre, either. There are wonderful closeups of the three actors, and given who the actors are, you want to catch every nuanced facial muscle.

Carey Mulligan plays a 30ish woman (her first stage role), Kyra Hollis, who teaches in what is apparently a rather desperate London school and lives in rather minimalist circumstances in a British public housing flat, of a type familiar from U.K. crime shows. She’s visited by a young man—played briefly and brilliantly by Matthew Beard—who is the son in a family she once lived with. The young man urges her to return to try to help his father, who he says is lost in grief and rage over his wife’s death a year before. The son departs, and the father arrives.

Played flawlessly by Bill Nighy, the father is a successful restaurateur for whom Kyra once worked, and the sparring between the two over why she left his home and her work, the new life she’s constructed, and what was and is between them carries the rest of the play. When it was first produced in 1995, Skylight won the Olivier Award for Best New Play. Many funny moments. Tears, too.