6.8/10
4,975
25 user 82 critic

Tom of Finland (2017)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama | 24 February 2017 (Finland)
Trailer
2:14 | Trailer
Award-winning filmmaker Dome Karukoski brings to screen the life and work of artist Touko Valio Laaksonen (aka Tom of Finland), one of the most influential and celebrated figures of twentieth century gay culture.

Director:

Dome Karukoski

Writers:

Aleksi Bardy (screenplay), Aleksi Bardy (story by) | 6 more credits »
2 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Pekka Strang ... Tom / Touko
Seumas F. Sargent ... Doug (as Seumas Sargent)
Chris Myland Chris Myland ... Security Person
Alf Myreen Alf Myreen ... AD Artist
Fabian Puregger Fabian Puregger ... Tom's Dream Cop
Lauri Tilkanen ... Veli
Roope Karisto Roope Karisto ... Young Man
Taisto Oksanen ... Alijoki
Emanuel Claesson Emanuel Claesson ... Man in Doorway
Henri Keränen Henri Keränen ... Radio Operator / Soldier, Chorus
Jessica Grabowsky ... Kaija
Siim Maaten ... Russian Paratrooper
Leif Edlund Leif Edlund ... Moustache Man
Niko Wirtanen Niko Wirtanen ... Bouncer at Hansa Bar
Jari Forsman Jari Forsman ... Police Officer in the Park
Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Tom of Finland is one of the gay world's few authentic icons. His drawings have had an enormous influence on gay identity. Tom's ultimate leather men are known and seen everywhere. They are... See full summary »

Director: Ilppo Pohjola
Stars: Tom of Finland, Robert Henry Mizer, Nayland Blake
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Juhani, 14 years old and tormented by a childhood trauma, has changed several foster parents from the age of eight. He is taken to an island, where there is a boys' home, run by a strict ... See full summary »

Director: Dome Karukoski
Stars: Niilo Syväoja, Tommi Korpela, Kristiina Halttu
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Neo-Nazi falls in love with a woman who has a black son and finds himself fighting with conflicting feelings.

Director: Dome Karukoski
Stars: Peter Franzén, Laura Birn, Jasper Pääkkönen
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A comedy about Janne, a man from Lapland in Northern Finland, a man who has made a career out of living on welfare. Inari, his girlfriend, is tired of Janne's incapability of getting a grip... See full summary »

Director: Dome Karukoski
Stars: Pamela Tola, Jussi Vatanen, Jasper Pääkkönen
The Grump (2014)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The Grump is a man from the past. A man who knows that everything used to be so much better in the old days. Pretty much everything that's been done after 1953 has always managed to ruin ... See full summary »

Director: Dome Karukoski
Stars: Antti Litja, Petra Frey, Mari Perankoski
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Two teen girls from a very restrictive Conservative Laestadian faith community, go alone to Helsinki for the first time.

Director: Dome Karukoski
Stars: Marjut Maristo, Amanda Pilke, Malla Malmivaara
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A woman dulled with praise, Nelli is well on her way to Med-School thanks to her parents, but dreams of a career as a singer.

Director: Dome Karukoski
Stars: Pamela Tola, Samuel Vauramo, Joonas Saartamo
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Having moved to Paris for university, Leevi returns to his native Finland for the summer to help his estranged father renovate the family lake house so it can be sold. Tareq, a recent ... See full summary »

Director: Mikko Makela
Stars: Janne Puustinen, Boodi Kabbani, Mika Melender
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Stars: David Johnson, Gary Robinson
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

On the West Coast on Finland in nineteenth-century Ostrobothnia. Esko is the leader of a local gang of troublemakers and an uneven battle ensues over the estate, honor a father's last wishes.

Director: Jukka-Pekka Siili
Stars: Lauri Tilkanen, Mikko Leppilampi, Pamela Tola
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Spring. Yorkshire. Young farmer Johnny Saxby numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex, until the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker for lambing season ignites an intense relationship that sets Johnny on a new path.

Director: Francis Lee
Stars: Josh O'Connor, Alec Secareanu, Gemma Jones
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Members of the advocacy group ACT UP Paris demand action by the government and pharmaceutical companies to combat the AIDS epidemic in the early 1990s.

Director: Robin Campillo
Stars: Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Arnaud Valois, Adèle Haenel
Edit

Storyline

Touko Laaksonen, a decorated officer, returns home after a harrowing and heroic experience serving his country in World War II, but life in Finland during peacetime proves equally distressing. He finds peace-time Helsinki rampant with persecution of the homosexual men around him, even being pressured to marry women and have children. Touko finds refuge in his liberating art, specializing in homoerotic drawings of muscular men, free of inhibitions. His work - made famous by his signature 'Tom of Finland' - became the emblem of a generation of men and fanned the flames of a gay revolution. Written by Helsinki-filmi

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They called it filth. It became a revolution. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Finnish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film competition at 2018 Academy Awards. See more »

Goofs

The scene in the hospital when Tom brings Jack a bunny, the pillow is a Euro (square type not commonly used in the US) and not a standard sized one. See more »

Quotes

Tom: I'm going to draw something to publish. About life. Something that will make people happy.
See more »

Connections

References Varaventtiili (1942) See more »

User Reviews

 
A gay movie for everybody who likes sex
25 December 2017 | by kaptenvideo-89875See all my reviews

Tom of Finland has his own autobiographical movie now, done by Finns themselves. Appropriate because he is one of them and spent his whole life living among them. Which was brave, because in his time, being found out as homosexual could meant effectively the end of the life as one knew it, including losing your life. Just like, say, paedophiles or terrorists today.

I am a bit surprised if you don't know the great late artist's name and/or haven't seen any of his work. Like, for example, Walt Disney or Herluf Bidstrup, he surely is one of the greatest artists of modern time, instantly recognizable and unforgettable for its style and soul.

I would say his drawings are like nothing else out there, although I actually don't know much about gay culture and its antics. But this is art at its purest and most powerful. It's unique, it makes you feel something and it talks to you, regardless of your sexual orientation and/or attitude towards homosexuality. Lust is universal.

The story is nothing original, the classic "rags to riches" success story blueprints made popular by Oliver Stone's "Wall Street" (1987) that the other movie makers still eagerly copy.

Which means that you can often guess where it's going and because of that, there's a risk of reaching the saturation point before the end, probably in the last third.

I enjoyed the ride in full, actually, but the risk is real. Maybe it would help that every movie using this formula wouldn't be around two hours long? It's not like it's gonna become magically fresher in long movies after 30 years.

But the formulaic story and the typical low-key "I am a Finnish movie" look are not what make "Tom of Finland" shine.

But what it lacks in inventive storytelling or visual flashiness, it more than makes up in heart and conviction. It's not just an re-enactment of a famous person's life, you can literally feel the lust that drove him, and men like him, on screen.

This is well conveyed by actors, especially Pekka Strang who seems to be straight in real life but does not shiver back from releasing his inner man-eater in hope for making everything come alive on screen.

This is not a comical role, and he really dives into the role so you can really buy him as the great artist. All this longing, need to break free from social chains, and satisfaction with getting what he wants seem authentic and real when they show on his face on screen.

Watching the gay scene, forced into hiding and later coming out in the open, is interesting as well. Creeping around, always giving out and trying to read subtle signs from other men, and desperation in the danger of being found out. The director has done a great job bringing this alive, as history lesson which is also entertaining to watch.

This is Finland's entry for the Best Foreign Language Film competition at 2018 Academy Awards. I think it's not "serious" enough to have a realistic chance of winning... but who knows. Dome Karukovski is quite a big deal among modern Finnish movie directors, says IMDb.

So... "Tom of Finland": an artist and now a movie even straight people can like! I know I do.

If you want recent similar movie suggestions, check out 2013's "Behind the Candelabra" starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, it's great!

If I have any gay or bi readers, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the movie.


6 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 25 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official site [Japan] | See more »

Country:

Finland | Sweden | Denmark | Germany | Iceland | USA

Language:

Finnish | English | German

Release Date:

24 February 2017 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Tom of Finland See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

EUR5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,524, 15 October 2017

Gross USA:

$381,610

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,792,414
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed