Facets Cinémathèque

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May 26–June 1, 2017

Chicago Theatrical

The Happiest Day in the
Life of Olli Mäki
(Hymyilevä mies)

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Film still: The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki Film still: The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki Film still: The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki Film still: The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki
Un Certain Regard Award
Cannes Film Fest
Gold Hugo
Chicago Intl
Film Fest
"A lovely piece of work, a sweet, warmly observed tale overlaid with just the right amount of Scandinavian melancholy"
  —Los Angeles Times
Critics' Pick "The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki deepens quietly... this film serves as a charming testament to him and to the grace of an ordinary life"
  —New York Times
"Nuanced and endearing"
  —Village Voice
4 stars "Here is a treat and a delight...a gentle, shrewd, somehow mysterious love story... a film of immense humanity and charm: the very best kind of date movie"
  —The Guardian
"[Director Juho] Kuosmanen's unassuming yet immaculate command of tone and form here would impress at any stage of his career, but it's entirely remarkable in a first feature"
"Captivating... the movie is a small marvel of impeccable craftsmanship"
  —Hollywood Reporter
"Contemplative, inspirational and sweet... Low-key performances by the conflicted [Jarkko] Lahti and the radiant [Oona] Airola prove the final knockout hit"
  —Screen International
"Boxing dramas don't come more charming... Kuosmanen has deliberately ducked and weaved around the genre's obsession with glory... It's more of a gently comic character sketch in boxing trunks"
  —AV Club

In the summer of 1962, a small town baker named Olli Mäki (Jarkko Lahti) has a shot at the world championship title in featherweight boxing if he can defeat the American title holder Davey Moore (John Bosco Jr.). Immensely talented and equally modest, Olli is completely unprepared for the media storm that transforms his life when he is swept into national stardom and suddenly regarded as a symbol of his country. From the Finnish countryside to the bright lights of Helsinki, his slick, ambitious manager has prepared everything for Olli's fame and fortune, as well as his own ambitions. All Olli needs to do is lose weight and concentrate, but there is a problem. He has just fallen in love with the young and beautiful Raija (Oona Airola), so inside of the ring, it is Finland vs. the USA, but outside, boxing and romance become unlikely adversaries, competing for Olli's attention.

Based on a true story, and beautifully photographed in naturalistic black and white, this charming feature debut extols the virtues of finding your own way to happiness regardless of outside expectations.

Directed by Juho Kuosmanen, Finland/Sweden/Germany, 2016, 92 mins. In Finnish with English subtitles.


  • Fri., May 26 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., May 27 at 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., May 28 at 1, 3, 5 & 7 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., May 29–June 1 at 7 & 9 pm
Buy tickets


$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation