The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki 12A (S)

The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki

Winner of the Un Certain Regard prize at last year’s Cannes, this irresistibly charming film is a funny and forlorn sports biopic inspired by the real-life 1962 showdown between Finnish boxer Olli Mäki and American champion Davey Moore in Helsinki.

Almost painfully open and ingenuous, Olli (Jarkko Lahti) is a young, wistful, small-town man who is just as happy baking bread as he is demonstrating his talents in the boxing ring. His manager, however, is the exact opposite of his fighter - a showman who is promising a fevered press that Olli’s upcoming bout against world bantamweight (and undefeated) champion Davey Moore will be an "historic spectacle never before seen in Finland." Thrust into the media spotlight, Olli is feeling the pressure. All he has to do is concentrate on his training and make the weight. There's just one small problem… Olli is falling in love. And what price is glory, when romance decides to pay a call?

Shot in gorgeous 16mm black-and-white, this ode to lost innocence is one of the most heart-warming romances you will see this year. Who’d have thought a Finnish boxing biopic could deliver such pointed commentary about the sports industry, wittily depict a small nation's excitement and unease about its debut on the world stage, whilst at the same time being one of the most touching and surprising feel good movies in ages? It's a total gem and if knockouts could ever be gentle, then this film deals the disarming blow.

Screening with DepicT! '16 shortlisted film Baconhorn

(Dir: Oliver Marsden, Australia, 90 secs)