Derek Winnert


This article was written on 12 Aug 2017, and is filled under Uncategorized.

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Tom of Finland **** (2017, Pekka Strang, Jakob Oftebro, Werner Daehn, Troy T Scott, Jan Böhme) – Movie Review

Provocative, warm-hearted, informative, involving and entertaining. Surprisingly expensive-looking production, with a good feel for its various periods. Well acted, smartly made.

Award-winning film-maker Dome Karukoski celebrates the life and work of gay liberation hero Touko Laaksonen, aka Tom of Finland, in a most provocative, warm-hearted, informative, involving and entertaining movie.

It is a surprisingly expensive-looking production, with a good feel for its various periods, 1940s onwards. It is well acted by an ideal cast, convincingly and intelligently written by Aleksi Bardy and smartly made by Karukoski.

Pekka Strang stars in a strong turn as decorated Finnish army officer Touko Laaksonen, who returns home after World War Two to find life in peace-time Helsinki rampant with homophobia and gay persecution. The appalling days of the closet are profitably explored. Life was crap for gay people, and this film shows exactly why.

But this is a happy, triumphant story, and Touko finds refuge in his homoerotic drawings of muscular leather men. And his work gets to America where both it and he are made famous as Tom of Finland, celebrated gay icon and an influential figure in a gay liberation, challenging the prejudices of the day.

Though there are great hardships along the way, the movie is enjoyable throughout, and it even has a feel-good ending!

In the UK, it has an 18 certificate for male nudity and sex, which is a pity. In a now liberated Finland, it has a 12 certificate, in Portugal a 14 and Sweden an 11.

On 6 September 2017, it was announced that Finland has selected Tom of Finland as its candidate for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

© Derek Winnert 2017 Movie Review

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