Friday Movie Flashback: ‘Léon: The Professional’

“Léon: The Professional,” or simply “Léon,” differs from most thriller films in the sense that it’s actually heartwarming and amusing to an extent.

“Léon” was released in 1994 and was written and directed by acclaimed French director Luc Besson. In a nutshell, it follows the story of a professional hitman named Léon (Jean Reno) who, at first, unwillingly takes under his wing his 12-year old neighbor Mathilda (Natalie Portman) whose entire family was brutally shot to death by Drug Enforcement officer Norman Stansfield (Gary Oldman) and his henchmen, believing that Mathilda’s father stole a portion of the dope that he was asked to keep.

“Léon” is excellent in every aspect and all, but what I found to be most interesting was young Portman ‘s portrayal of a complex 12-year old delinquent in every sense of the word. She’s smart beyond her years although she skips school, smokes, curses, hates her family to the core except for her younger brother, harbors thoughts of revenge towards those who murdered her family, and even asks to be trained to become a “cleaner” like Léon. Despite all these, she manages to maintain an aura of innocence about her. It’s almost hard to believe that this was Portman’s feature film debut!

There’s also this bit about Mathilda falling in love with Léon. The girl wasn’t exactly discreet about her feelings for the man old enough to be her dad, but amazingly, this plotline didn’t come out as uncomfortable or disgusting. If anything, I found it hilarious especially with Léon choking on his usual glass of milk whenever Mathilda would say anything that would surprise him!

I honestly only have praises for “Léon.” The entire storyline was great with its hilarious and light and serious and action-packed moments. The actors, too, were all excellent in the portrayal of their respective characters. Reno was almost adorable playing the merciless yet soft-spoken and mild-mannered hitman. Likewise, Oldman was effective portraying the role of the crazed government agent who’s also a big fan of music. I might be almost two decades late for the party, having finally seen it only after watching a documentary about Portman last weekend, but hey, it’s never too late to appreciate good films! Needless to say, “Léon” is now in my list of favorite movies!

Video via YouTube

Like this article? Check out our articles from the Friday Movie Flashback series in the Lomography magazine!

written by chooolss on 2013-11-08 in #lifestyle #videos #gary-oldman #natalie-portman #leon-the-professional #jean-reno #luc-besson #friday-movie-flashback

More Interesting Articles

  • Friday Movie Flashback: Hunger, 2008

    written by cheeo on 2014-09-12 in #lifestyle
    Friday Movie Flashback: Hunger, 2008

    Filmmaker Steve McQueen’s volatile mix of sacrifice, politics and protest turned out to be one of the most riveting historical dramas in the 2008 film Hunger.

  • On Raw Beauty: An Interview with Portraitist Don Michael Acelar De Leon

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-07-07 in #world #lifestyle
    On Raw Beauty: An Interview with Portraitist Don Michael Acelar De Leon

    He will respectfully ask for a photo session. He does not outline why, and if you are shy, you will wonder what he has seen in you. He greets reluctance with understanding and a resounding yes with an equal amount of enthusiasm. When the day comes, he will treat you like a collaborator. And whenever he talks about the outcome—comely photos of what looks like your most confident self—he will always call you a muse.

    3
  • Lorenzo Antico's 'Final Shot' Presents Last Shots From 33 Films

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-05-12 in #world #lifestyle #videos
    Lorenzo Antico's 'Final Shot' Presents Last Shots From 33 Films

    A movie's parting shot is a crucial element in the sense that it could either make or break the lasting impression that it would have on its audience. It could either wrap things up quite nicely and leave viewers satisfied, or it could do otherwise. For many, it's often the first thing that comes to mind long after the final credits have rolled out.

  • Shop News

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Really want to bring your film photos to life? We’re now offering totally analogue fine art prints in a host of large sizes and formats! Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • March Frenzy: Tottenham Takes Over the V&A

    written by vanfrancis on 2015-01-07 in #lifestyle
    March Frenzy: Tottenham Takes Over the V&A

    I went to the Victoria & Albert Museum's Friday Late, an event that takes place every last Friday evening of the month. For March 2014, the London borough of Tottenham was invited to curate an evening of creativity. There were a number of events that went on ranging from music and art to fashion and film. Accompanied by my LC-A+ and Fisheye No. 2, here are my highlights of that evening in photographs.

  • The Analogue Quiz: What B&W Film are you?

    written by andie_sollmer on 2014-10-20 in #news
    The Analogue Quiz: What B&W Film are you?

    Did you ever think about the myth that we actually dream in Black & White? No colors, maybe no truth behind it anyways. But we know for a fact that you can create the most dreamy photographs with an analogue camera. And for that you need the right film. Scroll down and find out which B&W film is the film of your dreams!

    5
  • Photographer Gilbert Blecken Captures Iconic Musicians on Film

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-03-02 in #people #lifestyle
    Photographer Gilbert Blecken Captures Iconic Musicians on Film

    Back in the 1990s, Gilbert Blecken was a big music fan and wrote for his own small music fanzine. He would interview bands in between sound checks and take photographs of them. He was never a professional photographer or worked for a company; he simply did it for his fanzine. Twenty years on, Gilbert’s photographs have matured into an amazing documentation of some of the biggest music icons of that era. We caught up with Gilbert to ask him about these photographs and the fascinating story behind them.

    10
  • Shop News

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Done shooting and want your films to be processed? We can process your colour and black & white 35mm, 120 or 110 films! Development, prints and scans are also included. (Service availability depends on your markets)

  • A Compilation of Lomo'Instant Stories

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2015-08-04 in #gear #news
    A Compilation of Lomo'Instant Stories

    There are many possible reasons for taking pictures. It could be to document an event, to capture breathtaking scenery, to preserve a fond memory, or simply, to have a snapshot of someone close to your heart. Whatever the reason, there's almost always a story behind a picture, no matter how significant or trivial it may be. And for lomographers, nothing beats the feeling of having that story unfold in your hand, in the form of a print. If you want a quick keepsake from that treasured moment or a snapshot of that special someone though, you can have it instantly, through Lomo'Instant Stories!

    1
  • LomoGuru of the Week: emperornorton

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-11-02 in #lifestyle
    LomoGuru of the Week: emperornorton

    From having a close encounter with a mountain lion to accidentally meeting Steve Jobs, Joel Sax had experienced a number of unimaginable things that have granted him a deeper sense of understanding. Any amateur or longtime film photographer can definitely learn a thing about making the most out of one's skills and loving the art of photography from the wise words of our LomoGuru, emperornorton!

    12
  • Photo Stories: Isolation by disdis

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-08-03 in #world #locations
    Photo Stories: Isolation by disdis

    What do you do when you want to get away from it all? Here, disdis tells us one of the things he does—that is, to head to somewhere faraway and simply lose himself in it.

  • Shop News

    the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

     the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

    Let your loved one pick the gift of their dreams. Lomography Online Shop Gift Certificates are the perfect present for every analogue devotee on your gift list

  • You Get More from Expired Lomography Color Negative 400 ISO 120 Film

    written by ncjom on 2014-11-05 in #reviews
    You Get More from Expired Lomography Color Negative 400 ISO 120 Film

    If you happen to come across an expired Lomography Color Negative 400 ISO 120 film pack, either in a store or on the Internet, get one and be ready for an exciting experience. You'll definitely get more from it!

  • Esbo and her Weapon of Choice: LomoChrome Purple XR 100-400

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-11-13 in #lifestyle
    Esbo and her Weapon of Choice: LomoChrome Purple XR 100-400

    An ardent globetrotter, esbo takes pride in having been to different places and documenting each of these trips in analogue. Aside from her boyfriend dopa, she considers the LomoChrome Purple XR 100-400 as her most trusted companion in making her travels more magical. Read on and discover how she makes her photographs perfect with this fantastic film!

    3
  • The Rescued Film Project

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-02-10 in #world #lifestyle
    The Rescued Film Project

    The Rescued Film Project collects, develops and archives undeveloped or unwanted film from all over the world. Recently, the group acquired 31 rolls at an auction in Ohio, which, as it turns out, were from World War 1 and featured some amazing photographic footage of that time. Founder and film technician Levi Bettwieser talks about this exciting project.