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Emil has selected his 5 favourite Finnish movies of 2010s that are definitely worth checking out.
Koirat eivät käytä housuja / Dogs Don’t Wear Pants (2019)
Dogs Don’t Wear Pants is drama film, directed and co-written by J-P Valkeapää, that premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. Juha is emotionally paralysed after a tragic event in his life when he unexpectedly meets Mona, a dominatrix. This encounter brings him closer than ever before to feeling something again, as he finds himself entering the world of BDSM. Not for the most squeamish. Pekka Strang and Krista Kosonen are excellent in their roles, as Valkeapää builds a surprisingly touching story about loss, grief and love. Truly recommend seeing this in a theatre if possible, as the sounds the audience makes when reacting to certain scenes are quite entertaining. 88% on Rotten Tomatoes
Aurora is the feature film debut of writer/director Miia Tervo. One night at a hot-dog stand in Northern Finland, a commitment-phobic party animal, Aurora, meets Iranian Darian who asks for her hand in marriage. He needs a Finnish wife to get asylum for himself and his daughter. Aurora turns him down but promises to help him for some monetary compensation. Mimosa Willamo as Aurora is radiant on the screen. You cannot take your eyes of her. Aurora is a real laugh-out-loud film with probably the best character names shown in credits in the history of cinema. A true feel-good movie that subverts the normal clichés of romcom movies with ease. 100% on Rotten Tomatoes
Hymyilevä mies / The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki (2016)
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki is the feature-length debut of writer/director Juho Kuosmanen. It is the true story of Olli Mäki, a Finnish boxer who had a shot at the World Featherweight title in 1962. Whilst being in the national spotlight Mäki prepares for the biggest match of his life but there is just one problem. He is also falling in love at the same time. Personal happiness and career fulfillment are balanced in this different kind of sports biopic. Captured beautifully in 16mm black and white film, the film was awarded the Un Certain Regard Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, where it premiered. Chosen by Finnish film journalists as the best Finnish film of 2010s. 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, Certified Fresh
Miekkailija / The Fencer (2015)
The Fencer is directed by Klaus Härö, a director known for his skill in evoking the movie goers’ emotions. A young man, Endel Nelis, has escaped the secret police in Leningrad and arrives in Haapsalu, Estonia, in the early 1950s. He works as a teacher and starts teaching his students fencing. Endel becomes a father figure and role model to them. The children want to travel to a fencing tournament in Leningrad, thus Endel must make a choice: risk everything going to Leningrad or put his own safety first and disappoint the students. The Fencer made the Oscars’ shortlist of nine films for the Best Foreign Language Film but was not among the final nominees. Though, it was nominated for a Golden Globe award in the same category as a Finnish/German/Estonian co-production. 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, Certified Fresh
Rare Exports / Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is writer/director Jalmari Helander’s feature film debut. It is just before Christmas Eve in northern Finland, and an American expedition has unearthed the real Santa Claus, who is not the Santa of your childhood tales. When local children begin mysteriously disappearing, young Pietari (Onni Tommila) and his father Rauno (Finnish actor legend Tommi Korpela), find themselves in a scarily humorous adventure. Rare Exports is a darkly comic fantasy film that would have felt right at home during the 1980s with movies like The Goonies and Gremlins. The feature film is based on the 2003 short film Rare Exports Inc., and its 2005 sequel Rare Exports: The Official Safety Instructions. 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, Certified Fresh
Source of photos: Filmikamari