10 superb films to experience in Neon’s Rialto collection

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The latest batch of films has arrived in the Rialto collection—streaming on Neon. Liam Maguren combs through the selection and highlights their merits.

I’ve been known to love family films, superhero blockbusters, and junky competition shows. But I also need films that treat me like an adult. Stories that respect my mind and my heart. Cinema that challenges expectations and forges new grounds.

Neon’s Rialto collection always delivers, sporting an array of critically acclaimed features hot off the film festival circuit. The latest ten films in the collection are no different:

After Love

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This post-romance British drama tells the story of a woman who converted to Islam when she married her husband. Suddenly a widow in her 60s, her sense of self becomes rattled when she discovers the man she thought she knew had a secret family.

Winning a BAFTA for her sublime performance, Joanna Scanlan anchors the film as the widow tossing around the idea of confronting her late husband’s lover. Writer-director Aleem Khan, who earned BAFTA nominations for Best Director and Outstanding Debut, leans on Scanlan’s talents, allowing her character’s quiet and contemplative nature to speak powerfully to her inner turmoil.

Decision to Leave

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A man falls to his death. It appears to be a simple case of suicide. However, the detective on the case isn’t convinced. When his suspicions point towards the deceased’s wife, he suddenly finds himself caught in a web of desire and deception.

Having won a BAFTA for his directing prowess five years ago with The Handmaiden, master filmmaker Park Chan-wook went and scored himself another BAFTA nomination with this tight-yet-tangly neo-noir. Not only was it up for the Palme d’Or, it also earned the prestigious honour of being named Flicks’ 2nd favourite film of 2022.

The Humans

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A dynamite cast—Richard Jenkins, Steven Yeun, June Squibb, Beanie Feldstein, Jayne Houdyshell and Amy Schumer—lead this A24 adaptation of a Tony award-winning play centred on a Thanksgiving dinner at a couple’s new but empty apartment. It seems like a simple and sweet affair at first, but things slowly turn worrisome as hidden insecurities—and soul-shaking fears—gradually make their way to the surface.

If you’re into dialogue-heavy drama that emphasises characters over plot, this should be of high interest. Every performance is tightly tuned, whether it’s the destructive dread someone’s trying to hide or a surprising slap of humour used to defuse a situation. Stephen Karam adapts his own play with an admirable eye for vapid spaces and a knowing ear for haunted house-style sound design—a visual and audible reflection of what lurks behind these characters’ eyes.


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The great Tilda Swinton leads this slow-paced sci-fi mystery as an orchid farmer who travels to Colombia to be with her ill sister. Located near a century-long construction project to tunnel through the Andes mountain range, a loud bang repeatedly prevents her from sleeping. Eventually, she starts to wonder what these strange sounds would look like.

Anyone familiar with the distinctive work of Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul, perhaps best known for 2010’s Palme d’Or-winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, will be well prepared for this experience. If you’re not, this bit from Screen Daily’s review will put you in the best mindset: “Memoria eludes easy categorisation while becoming a powerful meditation on connection, spiritual isolation and renewal.”

Nude Tuesday

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Jackie van Beek (The Breaker Upperers) and Damon Herriman (The Artful Dodger) lead this one-of-a-kind comedy as a wife and husband who, in a last-ditch effort to save their marriage, attend a couples’ retreat led by an enigmatic love guru (Jemaine Clement). Take our word for it: “It’s silly, raucous and sometimes surprisingly moving.”

What makes this film so unique? The whole cast spoke in a gibberish-ish language and, once “completed,” the locked picture was sent to a writer to subtitle the whole thing (with different writers approached for different regions and releases). Here, we’re treated to the brutal comedic subtitling of comedic genius Julia Davis—if you want to know how that creative exercise worked out, dive into our interview.

Official Competition

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The film festival world needs a good noogie every now and then. Doing just that with acidic wit and three on-point performances, this Spanish art comedy brings together Penélope Cruz (as prestigious director Lola), Antonio Banderas (as cocky Hollywood star Félix) and Oscar Martínez (as smug arthouse actor Iván) for “a brilliant, ridiculous, and pitch-black skewering of artistic ego” as per our review.

While the film mines its premise for all its absurd worth, writers-directors Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat go much further, unafraid to swerve the story into unexpected territories. It’s also beautifully shot, with tight framing and inventive staging doing more visually than you’d think possible with three actors and a rich person’s house.

The Princess

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Recent dramatised takes on Princess Diana—namely Spencer and the last season of The Crown—have burned a number of viewers, to say the least. If you’re one of them, this documentary might be the balm you’re looking for.

The Oscar-nominated director of Tell Me Who I Am uses archival footage and nothing more to tell the story of The People’s Princess—her life, her death, and the public perception of the monarchy. It’s a storytelling device Rolling Stone called “a stroke of genius, a jujitsu finishing move on her tormentors.”


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The mighty Tim Roth stars in this Aotearoa feature as an alcoholic father to a teenage son—as well as his boxing coach. In the lead-up to his first professional fight, the young lad’s life enters a crossroads when he develops a bond with a sharp-witted takatāpui boy.

Writer-director Welby Ings’ strong feature debut played as part of last year’s Whānau Mārama New Zealand International Film Festival, mentioning to us how he drew from personal experiences to make this film. We said the following in our review: “Punch resonates largely due to the commitment of its two young lead actors, Matt Henley’s starkly beautiful cinematography, and storytelling shot with an eye for detail that reveals the painful agony and soaring ecstasy of the everyday.”

The Quiet Girl

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This gentle Irish tale centres on a nine-year-old girl, separated from a troubled family, who comes into the care of two distant relatives. Throughout the summer, this silent but observant girl experiences a different kind of life—a simpler one, a loving one, a life that might get her to open up.

The film won big at Berlin 2022 and went on to become the first film in the Gaelic language to be nominated for Best International Feature Film at the Academy Awards. Soak into its serene ways and you’ll soon see why. Packed full of details and buttered with warmth, The Quiet Girl sneaks into your heart and—in its final minutes—expands it two-fold.

The Wimbledon Kidnapping

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This true crime documentary explores a case that’s equally bizarre and tragic. At the end of 1969, two men attempted to kidnap Anna Murdoch in Wimbledon—the then-wife of media mogul Rupert Murdoch. In an unsettling case of mistaken identity, they instead kidnapped Muriel McKay, the wife of Murdoch’s deputy Alick McKay.

There have been a few true stories of the wealthy being kidnapped, with some being made into movies (All the Money in the World, Kidnapping Mr. Heineken). It’s hard to think anyone will attempt to make such entertainment out of this story though—an odd, sad tale that’s most fitting for the doco format.