Tom of Finland

Director Dome Karukoski brings an oddly tasteful approach to this biopic of Finnish gay-erotica illustrator Touko Laaksonen, who became popular under the pen name Tom of Finland. The film covers roughly 40 years of Laaksonen’s life, from World War II to the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, and like too many other glossy biopics, it’s structured as a series of dramatic, albeit shallow, showstoppers. Karukoski generates some decent suspense in the passages set during the immediate postwar era, when Laaksonen goes to great lengths to keep his drawings and sexual identity secret from the general public. But once Laaksonen achieves success and finds domestic happiness with a ballet dancer, the filmmakers don’t have much to say about their subject, instead opting for reenactments of major moments in the gay rights movement during the 1970s and ’80s. In English and subtitled Finnish and German.