France, 1994, 110 min, 35mm, Dir. Luc Besson, Rated R, Sony Pictures Releasing

Léon: The Professional

Saturday, 10/22 at 11:45 pm

"Oozing style, wit and confidence from every sprocket, and offering a dizzyingly, fresh perspective on the Big Apple that only Besson could bring, this is, in a word, wonderful" - Chicago Tribune

Léon, The Professional, whatever you want to call it: this is a quintessential mid 90’s action thriller. Written and directed by cinéma du look director Luc Besson, the film follows Léon, a cleaner (aka hitman) who lives a solitary life in New York City. When his next door neighbors are murdered during a DEA raid, Léon takes in their 12-year old daughter, Mathilde, who survived the onslaught while grocery shopping. Now bound together, the unlikely duo strike up a father-daughter relationship that causes the hardened and stoic Léon to open up while Mathilde learns just how dangerous the world is. The cast is small but effective: Jean Reno’s performance is subtle, bringing a warmth to a character that is, ultimately, a killer; Natalie Portman walks onto the field swinging in what is her feature film debut; and Gary Oldman is as chilling as you would expect a man of many masks to be.

Poster art by James Rogers

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