Tom of FinlandHD
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About the Movie
The proudly erotic drawings of artist Touko Laaksonen, known to the world as Tom of Finland, shaped the fantasies of a generation of gay men, influencing art and fashion before crossing over into the wider cultural consciousness. But who was the man behind the leather? Dome Karukoski’s stirring biopic Tom of Finland follows his life from the trenches of WWII and repressive Finnish society of the 1950s through his struggle to get his work published in California, where he and his art were finally embraced amid the sexual revolution of the 1970s.Tom’s story is one of love, courage and perseverance, mirroring the gay liberation movement for which his leather-clad studs served as a defiant emblem.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 52
- Fresh: 42
- Rotten: 10
- Average Rating: 6.6/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: While Mr. Laaksonen devoted his life (1920-91) to challenging conventions, the film is committed to honoring them.
Fresh: "Tom of Finland" entertainingly recounts an intriguing and vital chapter of 20th-century gay history with style and deference.
Fresh: Tom of Finland is a good, strong movie, but never threatens to be great. One salivates at the adventurous directions the film could have explored.
Fresh: In a subtle but wily performance, Strang never loses sight of his character's innate sense of resistance.
One dimensional, unsexy disappointment
The movie starts off promisingly enough but quickly descends into a cheap soap opera. It takes an especially bad filmmaker to take such a compelling subject and make something so laughably cheesy (the "American" scenes are particularly phony and cheap-looking). You'll be rolling your eyes through the last half hour. The movie is totally devoid of the erotic intensity that characterizes Tom's work. How the hell do do you make a movie about Tom of Finland that is so blandly UNSEXY!?
Characters are so one-dimensional they are hard to care about. The movie ignores and essentially rewrites Tom's crucial early fetish for Nazi uniforms within the WW2 context and how this (judgements aside) was a key catalyst for the development of the gay leather scene. Instead, this movie takes a predictable, politically correct, and tediously conventional view of the history during which Tom's work developed. It's a historical biopic ruined by contemporary social justice framing. There's a great movie to be made about this incredible artist - this isn't it.
A cultural icon
I walked into this movie completely blind about who Tom of Finland is and what this story was about. I left the theater completely moved. This movie goes through the life of Tom of Finland and all of the trials and tribulations he faced as a gay artist in Europe and how through his perseverance, created the base line of what is now a large part of gay culture. This movie truly gave my great appreciation for him and his legacy. I highly recommend.