Win Tom of Finland on DVD!

Stunning LGBT drama Tom of Finland  is out on Home Entertainment today. Directed by Dome Karukoski revolves around a decorated officer who returns from World War 2 only to find his new life tricky to navigate with the prejudices against his sexuality running rampant in his home town.

To celebrate the release of Tom of Finland, we have 2 DVD copies to give away. All you have to do is answer this question:

Who directs Tom of Finland? 

A) David Fincher
B) Quentin Tarantino
C) Dome Karukoski

Comment below with your answer or tweet @WMMOWWebsite! Good luck!

Tom of Finland is out now on DVD & Blu-Ray! 
Read our review! 

Tom of Finland – DVD & Blu-Ray Review

In 2017, it’s more important than ever to have LGBT+ representation in cinema. Films like Moonlight, Carol, and Call Me By Your Name have blown audiences away in the last few years, and that’s not including a whole host of flicks dedicated to the subject. But it’s important to remember that it’s also prevalent in world cinema. Tom of Finland is a great example.

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Tom of  Finland is the story of Touko Laaksonen, a decorated officer, who 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, specialising 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.

Tom of Finland is an interesting and powerful film; it’s a tender film that explores it’s themes well and has a lot to offer to those seeking representation of these topics. Admittedly, it’s very slow in the first hour, and that might have been intentional but ultimately is a little frustrating. It takes focusing on the excellent components of the film to not worry about the pacing, even if it is purposely. Beyond that, there’s no real issues with the film. The performances are excellent, especially that of Pekka Strang as the titular character. It’s a soft performance, a quiet one almost that’s loud when it matters. It’s subtle, uncomfortable when necessary, and powerful all throughout. The character Tom is left traumatised by the events of the war, and it’s an always present pain that Stang conveys beautifully. His chemistry with the other cast members, regardless of the emotions is terrific too. He has a natural talent to bounce off his co-stars in the most appropriate way.

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Perhaps the most stunning part of this film is the cinematography; everything is so enigmatically shot, from something as simple as Touko laying in bed with another man, or something as thrilling as running to kill a Russian soldier.  There’s a touch of beauty to everything that takes place, that really adds to the tender and emotional story that takes place. But the cinematography only works so well in partnership with the fantastic use of sound; it’s the presence of silence that speaks volumes in this film, and makes the dialogue driven scenes far more powerful.

It may take a little while to get into, but Tom of Finland is a great piece of world cinema; a fantastic lead performance, enhanced by beautiful film-making in this fascinating and engaging film about an important and influential in LGBT+ history, and an essential view for anyone looking to embrace the culture of this moment.

Tom of Finland is out on DVD & Blu-Ray now! 

The Big Sick – Review

Romantic comedies are dead. We’ve had enough of the same garb thrown in our face constantly. We’re so exhausted by the plight of two love-struck people who are usually white, usually stunning, and usually selfish preoccupied people who just let a good thing go by…

Sure, there is nothing wrong with romantic comedies. When they are good, they are brilliant. When they are different, they are impeccable. When they are bad, however, they are unbearable. Laced with cliches that have been parodied so often the jokes themselves have become a cliche, the romantic comedy genre is always indeed of reshaping and rejigging.

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The Big Sick falls is a mixture of the first and second category; a great and brilliant comedy with a lot of humanity that is so close to impeccability. And certainly is the perfect anecdote to the genre.

Based on the true story of how comedian Kumail Nanjiani met his wife (and incidentally, written by himself and spouse Emily Gordon,) the film revolves around Kumail and his trials and tribulations as a stand-up comic in Chicago. Bouncing around a few gigs with little recognition, he is heckled by a woman in the audience named Emily. The passion are instantaneous as they fall immediately into a one night stand. Against their initial judgement, the pair fall in love but are torn apart by Kumail’s religious family and Emily’s intrepidation, they break up. During their split, Emily falls into a coma through an illness and

Directed by Wet Hot American Summer‘s Michael Showalter, The Big Sick is a compelling, concise, and comical film. There is a nature humanity that comes with a script developed by the people it portrays and that shows in a humorous manner. The realism that flows throughout The Big Sick is engaging and greatly done. The laughs come from awkwardness that we recognise all too well throughout dating as well as the extreme circumstance that makes Kumail question his integrity over Emily. This conflict of love and hilarity produces one of the most slickest (and sickest in the most literal sense) films of the year.

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Two leads Kumail Nanjiani (playing himself) and Zoe Kazan (playing Emily,) have chemistry to boot. Their on screen flirtation blossoming into love undeniably poignant and recognisable. Tableau’s of their relationship as they develop play out in this recognisably sincere way. Together they portray a rocky road relationship where you wish they’d pull together at every stop. And yet, even though it’s clear you know the outcome, it is never predictable – twisting and turn through frustrating yet palpable moments. Nanjiani and Kazan are terrific in this way, gifting Nanjiani’s real life story with a cinematic version every bit as great.

Support comes from Ray Romano, Holly Hunter, Aidy Bryant, and Bo Burhnam, each offering different slices of comedy, addled with times of drama and emotion. To use the biggest cliche, despite The Big Sick choosing to lean away from them, the overall product is heart-warming. Bring life back into the genre, The Big Sick is an unmissable true life romp.

The Big Sick is out 28th July 

The Beguiled – Review

Sofia Coppola has been a profoundly talented director since the 90s. From The Virgin Suicides to Lost in Translation, she has crafted a history of timeless movies with depth and emotion. Whilst critically analysing the state of humanity, her works equally tackle repression, secrecy, and loneliness. Her work has been studied for years, crafting a fanbase that relentlessly treat her like a cinema rock star.

Now she is back tackling passions in the Deep South with her Cannes award-winning film The Beguiled. 

Based on a book by Thomas P. Cullinan, The Beguiled revolves around an all-girl boarding school caught in the middle of the Civil War. When a wounded soldier from the North rocks up in their garden, they are reluctant to help him but tend to his wounds anyway. However, his arrival within the house sets off desires and tension reverberate throughout the girls. What will happen when they threaten to boil over?

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The Beguiled has already romped on the big screen in the Clint Eastwood led adaptation of 1971. With hallucinations, dream sequences, and flashbacks, the previous cinematic outing has earned praise and detraction. In Coppola’s production, this is stripped back to the main story, and developed to make it such an intense, and naturally comedic film with stunning performances at the core of it.

Nicole Kidman is a powerhouse of an actress. We should already know this but in The Beguiled, it echoes strongly. Her delivery of outrageous dialogue or subtle hints of her character’s darker interests imbue this film with strength and intrigue. Despite a strong supporting cast here, (and she isn’t even the lead, I suppose,) Nicole Kidman’s work is terrifically astute and equally compelling. Following her are Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning, whose characters are turbulent yet reserved, twisting with their passions whilst keeping up an appearance of reservation. Colin Farrell’s Irish soldier is, indeed, great as always and his ability to turn from flirtatious to raging in a fantastically watchable way.

Lush cinematography fills the screen as Coppola strips artificial light down to its bare bones. The haunted candles filters sumptuous colours in a remarkably colourful yet muted way, making the imagery haunting to look at. With the natural beauty of rural and Southern America, The Beguiled charms much like the ladies do with the Colonel and it is impossible not to obsess over the hues and tones.

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The spiritual cinematic steps before watching these films are as follows: Coppola and Dunst stirring piece on teenage repression and sexuality, The Virgin Suicides;  Kidman’s ferocious and unsettling mother in Stoker; and Elle Fanning’s bewitching youthful darkness in The Neon Demon. There are all components that toil and brew within the compelling The Beguiled and would make a fascinating big screen outing.

Though rare would this quadruple grouping be, certainly the release of The Beguiled is most intriguing this week. The raucous novel is supplemented for brooding themes and stellar acting; an insatiable outing for Coppola.

The Beguiled is out on DVD & Blu-Ray now!