Director: Peter Mackie Burns
2019 | Ireland, UK | 90m
GENRE: Drama | Gay | Relationships | Sex Work
SECTION: World Cinema
Expected Guests: Features Q&A with director Peter Mackie Burns and actor Tom Vaughan-Lawlor.

After an unexpected encounter in a public bathroom, Colm—a working-class Dublin family man struggling in midlife—becomes enamored with the charismatic, much younger gay-for-pay Jay (Dunkirk’s Tom Glynn-Carney). As Colm’s personal troubles mount and his interest in Jay grows more complicated, Rialto becomes a deeply affecting portrait of a crisis of masculinity.

Jay’s dabbling in sex work is strictly a means to an end to support his wife and baby, yet Colm is drawn to his comforting presence in the midst of his chaotic life. Still reeling from his father’s recent death, Colm’s already-strained relationship with his wife and teenage children becomes increasingly fractured—and Jay looms larger as his only solace. As dockworker Colm, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Avengers: Endgame) gives a performance that is smoldering yet subtle, pitch-perfect for the intimacy of this moving film, smartly adapted by Mark O’Halloran (Viva) from his award-winning play Trade. Rialto is both a realistic dive into the gritty, hard-drinking Dublin neighborhood of the title, and a subtle, observant drama about its denizens.


Buying Note: This digital screening is available to view between 12:01am Thursday, September 17 and 11:59pm Sunday, September 27. We suggest watching it at 9:00pm Saturday, September 19 followed by the Q&A.

Gilead Sciences, Inc.

Consulate General of Ireland in San FranciscoCalifornia Film Institute