Léon is a French film written and directed
by Luc Besson
It follows a hitman, the titular character, who takes in a young girl after her
family is murdered by Norman Stansfield (Gary Oldman).
Léon (Jean Reno) is a very
solitary man, he does his work well but is all work and no play. After
Mathilda's (Natalie Portman)
family is murdered she is saved and taken in by Léon. He reluctantly
decides to train her as she eyes revenge. They form an unorthodox bond that
proves stronger than one might think.
Gary Oldman is
completely deranged, unhinged, and brilliant in this film but then again when
is he not? The brilliant part I mean. In the scenes where his character takes
drugs in the film, it is surprisingly creepy and amazing at the same time.
Jean Reno is stoic as usual but gives a
great performance. He lets us see the many sides of Léon while making it
seem like he's doing nothing at all.
This film is
famous for giving a tween Natalie Portman her
break out role. There are some weird sexual overtones between Mathilda and Léon that are.....odd to watch
but thankfully they don't cross too many lines. To fully understand
the weirdness, you should just watch it yourself.
It's simply a great action movie that isn't specifically about the action. The stoic killer does have a similar style as seen more recently in Taken, but that's to be expected coming from the same writer. Just a great watch, and it's a nice throwback looking at how far Natalie Portman has come since being a fresh-faced 12 year-old.
- Jean Reno, despite
being a French actor, is of Spanish descent. He was born Juan Moreno y Herrera
Jiménez in Casablanca, Morocco. I just thought he changed his name from
Renault or Renaud due to mispronunciation. You learn something new everyday.
- DirectorLuc Besson, although
perhaps unknown to most, myself included, is a big name in action films. He is
a writer for the Taken and Transporter film series' among others.
-Bessonand Reno have worked together several times before.
- Mathilda is a smoker in the
film, however Portman is never shown breathing in or out any smoke. As part of
a deal by her parents, she was not to actual smoke a cigarette but could bring
it up to her mouth as long as she didn't inhale.
- Léon is the French title but it
is The Professional in the U.S., so Léon: The
Professional encompasses both nicely.
- A sequel withPortman returning as Mathilda was said
to be in the works after the movie was well received but they wanted to wait
until she was older to film. Unfortunately, due to quarrels about movie rights,
a sequel is unlikely to happen.