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The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki

Rated Parental Guidance (Nudity) ~ Runs 92 minutes

Dir.: Juho Kuosmanen, Finland

Jarkko Lahti , Oona Airola, Eero Milonoff
In Finnish and Swedish with English subtitles

Cannes Festival Winner, Un Certain Regard Award; Winner of 8 Jussi Awards

“The Happiest Day In The Life of Olli Mäki is a vérité-style study of the eponymous boxer’s preparation for a home-turf title fight against a daunting American champ. Permeated by a lyrical sense of bittersweet acceptance from its very first, perfectly composed frame, this marvelous biopic is less preoccupied with in-the-ring action than with the equally draining rigours of the publicity circuit. It punches its way into the upper ranks of cinematic pugilist portraits by virtue of its exquisite craft and a lead performance of heart-bruising melancholy by Jarkko Lahti. Mäki has a warm, crinkled humanity, cock-eyed humour and gorgeous, utterly immersive evocation of a less-distant-than-it-looks past that exert a surprisingly universal pull. Finland’s submission for Foreign Language Oscar, the film also had a well-deserved triumph in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard competition. The combination of fact-based, boxing-themed realism and vivid black-and-white imagery might tempt some into Raging Bull comparisons, but this is a far smaller, more guardedly tender work. Its exactingly constructed period milieu and textured, luminous aesthetic may actually put viewers more in mind of Pawel Pawlikowski’s Oscar-winning Ida than any comparable sports picture.” - Guy Lodge, Variety. “Kuosmanen's impeccable, buoyant first feature upends all the conventions of the fight film genre. It's an anti-Rocky tale inspired by the true story of Olli Mäki... Mäki interrupts his training to pursue the girl he wants to marry. This under-the-radar crowd-pleaser owes its unique look to glistening black-and-white cinéma-vérité-style photography that vividly recalls the 60s.” - Paul Ennis, Now Magazine

When The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki plays...
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November 19