Opening 19 Apr 2018
Ten-year-old Matti wants desperately to vacation with his family in Finland, the country where his father grew up. But the Pekkanens, struggling to make ends meet, can’t afford the trip. So Matti tricks his parents and little brother into believing he’s won the lottery. As the title of the film suggests (translated, it’s “Matti and Sammi and the three biggest mistakes in the universe”), things don’t quite work out as he hopes. The family soon finds itself in the middle of nowhere in Finland without a cent, a place to sleep or even the car key. Matti has to hope for a miracle, and he and his family embark on a stressful adventure that will hopefully bring them closer together again at the end.
The film, based on the book by Syrian-German author Salah Naoura, is entertaining for children. Most little ones will certainly giggle every time Sammi farts when he gets excited - it’s an odd nervous tic. But at times the script seems to be trying just a bit too much to make a sweeping social statement about Europe’s working class. (Deborah Steinborn)