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Olli Mäki, Neruda and Raw: the best films out now in the UK

The Guardian logo The Guardian 2 days ago Ryan Gilbey
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki © Publicity image The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki

1 The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki (12A)
(Juho Kuosmanen, 2016, Fin/Ger/Swe) 93 mins

Gentle Finnish comedy-drama about real-life featherweight contender Olli Mäki (Jarkko Lahti) who in 1962 challenged the US title-holder. If only he could take his eyes off the delightful Raija (Oona Airola), he might actually be in with a chance. Like Olli himself, this whimsical film is as light as a feather without ever feeling inconsequential.

2 I Am Not Your Negro (12A)
(Raoul Peck, 2016, Fra/US) 92 mins

The official trailer for I Am Not Your Negro.

This mosaic-like documentary presents the US through the appalled and compassionate eyes of the writer James Baldwin, proving that he was impossibly wise in his analysis of US race relations. His voice and observations provide the connective tissue in an indictment stretching from slavery to Ferguson.

3 Neruda (15)
(Pablo Larraín, 2016, Chil/Arg/Fra/Spa/US) 105 mins

Pablo Larraín’s Neruda.

From the director of Jackie, an off-kilter biopic of the Chilean poet, politician and diplomat Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco). Gael García Bernal is Oscar Peluchonneau, a fictional police inspector hunting Neruda in late-1940s Chile in a playful picture that uses lies to get at the truth.

4 Raw (18)
(Julia Ducournau, 2016, It/Fra/Bel) 99 mins

Raw: watch a clip from the feminist cannibal horror film

French shocker about a vegetarian veterinarian student turned cannibal. Even the faint-hearted will have to concede that there is beauty amid the blood, gore and rabbit kidneys.

5 The Transfiguration (15)
(Michael O’Shea, 2016, US) 97 mins

Watch a clip from The Transfiguration.

Moody study of a young African-American boy bullied for being different. So far, so Moonlight. Except this misfit is a vampire who watches Nosferatu and befriends a self-harming teen. This debut wears its influences a little heavily (the adolescent blood-sucker adores Let the Right One In and has The Lost Boys among his video tapes), but it has atmosphere to spare, not to mention teeth.

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