in about 100 words or less
France 110m, Colour
Director: Luc Besson; Cast: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello
Darkly comedic, and well-acted, Léon: The Professional was the brilliant debut for Portman in a challenging and controversial adult-themed role. As a twelve-year-old girl whose family is killed by crooked cops involved in a drug deal, Mathilda befriends Léon – a professional hit-man who works for a local mobster. Intending on seeking revenge for the killing of her little brother, Mathilda convinces Léon to teach her the basics of his profession. Despite his best intentions, Mathilda’s demanding nature and forceful personality threaten to overwhelm Léon, whose awkward personality and limited societal skills place him in jeopardy as he attempts to keep his new friend out of harm’s way (Klaus Ming August 2012).