The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki

The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki ★★★★

Finland does anti-Rocky by way of an uneventful black and white rom-com.

Uneventful is good, by the way. Olli (Jarkko Lahti) realises he's in love with his girlfriend, Raija (Oona Airola) while he's in the middle of a press conference for the announcement of his featherweight world title boxing fight in Helsinki in 1962. From there, it is all about doe-eyes, face-pulling for photos and left-footed dancing. Well, that's in between the training for the title fight, which Olli doesn't seem all that interested in (the fight or the training).

Nor does director Juho Kuosmanen either. In fact, most of the training for the fight is given over to Olli's weight loss regime and that's all about steaming in saunas with the team and running kites through fields of beech trees.

The Happiest Day in the life of Olli Mäki is my kind of boxing film.

Jani-Petteri Passi's sumptuous, old school photography is the real kicker, though. It comes complete with screen burn on the lights (those lights being attached to bikes carrying passengers up front nouvelle vague style.

Stillness, quiet quirk and one of the most apt cameos you're likely to catch all year (but you'll have to scan the credits to recognise its beauty).