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Films to See Before You Die: #36 Leon: The Professional


Léon: The Professional (1994)

Director: Luc Besson

Cast: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello

Synopsis: Léon (Jean Reno), is a hitman for hire who gets his assignments from Tony (Danny Aiello). He lives near Mathilda (Natalie Portman), a 12 year old girl who has a rough life wife her abusive family. Her father holds drugs for corrupt D.E.A. agent Norman Stansfield (Gary Oldman), who is grilling him about some of his drugs missing. Stansfield gives him a deadline to tell him how the drugs went missing noon the day, he arrives the next day and kills the family except Mathilda. Léon is forced to take Mathilda in and becomes her protector and mentor deciding to teach her the tools of his trade. After Léon is injured on the job Mathilda is forced to help him and they make quite a formidable duo. It isn’t until Mathilda tries to exact revenge on Stansfield that they truly are in danger as Léon is forced to storm into the D.E.A. headquarters to rescue her. A final showdown between Léon and the cops leave Mathilda’s quest for revenge in jeopardy.

Trivia: During the scene when Stansfield (Gary Oldman) ‘interrogates’ Mathilda’s father (Michael Badalucco), Oldman smells the father, and gets extremely physically close to him. According to Badalucco, he had no idea that Oldman was going to smell him, nor that he was going to get as close as he did. Badalucco says that in the film, his look of discomfort during the scene is completely genuine, as he felt decidedly intimidated by Oldman, and the physical proximity between the two made him very nervous.

Why I think you should see this: This is an amazing film that I just love. Gary Oldman steals the show as the corrupt Stansfield and Jean Reno is jusr amazing as Léon. Natalie Portman is just as Matilda and I just can’t say enough about Luc Besson’s screenplay and direction which he has not come close to since. It’s funny that this is the project he worked on pass the time before filming Fifth Element and it is the much stronger one. Definitely worth watching this is an amazing film and one of my favourites.

About Trevor

Hi my name is Trevor and this is my blog! Films are a passion of mine. I am a total film geek. I own over 700 films and the collection is ever growing. I studied Film Studies and Scriptwriting in College. What I have learned about films is mostly self taught.

5 responses to “Films to See Before You Die: #36 Leon: The Professional

  1. jmount43 ⋅

    One of the smartest action films ever made.

  2. jmro98

    This one, to me at least, really stand in the best movies!

  3. I liked watching this movie.

  4. I so need to see this film. I love Natalie Portman! Kim*

  5. Celia

    I LOVE that movie! Everyone in it is brilliant, especially Reno who somehow manages to be scary and poignant at the same time. Think of his house plant…

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