Director: Juho Kuosmanen
Original title: Hymyilevä Mies
Main Cast: Jarkko Lahti; Oona Airola; Eero Milonoff
Colour | 92 min
Funny, forlorn, and irresistibly charming, Juho Kuosmanen’s assured debut feature The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard section at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. It is inspired by the true story of Finland’s most successful boxer of the 1960s. Shot in black and white with scrupulous attention to period detail, the film centres on the prelude to Mäki’s historic fight in Helsinki with American Davey Moore, the bantamweight champion of the world. All the preparations seem normal until a very simple thing happens: Mäki falls in love; what follows is a brilliant exploration of innocence, love and priority.
This is a film with an extraordinary quiet power; it features pitch perfect performances from its lead actors and one of them, Jarkko Lahti, will be in Kilkenny to present. Please don’t miss this.