THE HAPPIEST DAY IN THE LIFE OF OLLI MÄKI, directed and co-written (with Mikko Myllylahti) by Juho Kuosmanen, proves one of those sweet and very low-key Finnish films (think Aki Kaurismäki but not as stylized) that are charming, very easy to view and never push too hard in any direction. The movie may not lodge itself in your permanent memory, but I very much doubt you'll be sorry you saw it.
Olli Mäki against an American fighter named Davey Moore. Happiest Day is sweet movie and actually quite romantic (especially for a boxing story) as Olli (below) and his girlfriend Raija (Oona Airola, further below) bond, break apart a bit, and then join again, as the championship match approaches. Not much happens beyond the budding love story, but we do get to view the boxing training, the PR machine, the news media and other typical artifacts circa the 1960s, brought to life in some nice period detail (though I must question the stadium shown us that has that huge video screen that certainly could not have been present in 1962).
Eero Milonoff, at right, below) has on the boxer, and for the most part it's not such a good one. Here, Elis' ambition and desire for success seem to trump all else, and Olli must fight doubly hard (even though he barely seems to understand this or how to do it) in order to hold on to his humanity and his woman.
MUBI, which we know best for its streaming service, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki, running 92 minutes, opens this coming Friday, August 21, in New York at the Angelika Film Center and the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas and in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Royal, to be followed by an exclusive digital release on MUBI.