In The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki we experience exciting August days in Finland in 1962. The 25-year-old boxer Olli Mäki is training for the fight of his life: the world championship. This true tragicomic story is both a romantic comedy and a historical sports drama. The humour is characteristically Scandinavian: as dry as a Ryvita.
This is the first time ever that a Fin has reached the final and this fact alone is enough to make Olli the centre of attention. He feels under pressure from his ambitious coach, the media and the entire country; everyone is eagerly anticipating his victory. So it is the worst possible timing when Olli falls head over heels in love with Raija. Hemmed in on all sides, Olli Mäki is one of the loneliest boxers in film history. This lends emphasis to the heartfelt moments he spends with his beloved. As a whole, the film is refreshing and as light as a feather.
For both the historical detail (filmed in authentic black and white) and its characters, the film won the prestigious Un Certain Regard Award at the Cannes Film Festival.