- Director: Luc Besson
- Based on book: no
- Cast: Jean Reno, Natalie Portman, Gary Oldman, Danny Aiello
- Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
- Jean Reno – Avis de mistral (My summer in Provence), Hustle, Les visiteurs, Nikita, Le grand bleu
- Natalie Portman – Thor, Black Swan, The other Boleyn Girl, Darjeeling Limited, Paris je t’aime, V for Vendetta, Star Wars, Closer, Cold Mountain, Anywhere but Here, Mars Attacks!, Beautiful Girls
- Gary Oldman – The Dark Knight Rises, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Harry Potter, The Book of Eli, The Dark Knight, Friends, The Fifth Element, Immortal Beloved, Romeo Is Bleeding, True Romance, Dracula, JFK, State of Grace, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Prick Up Your Ears, Sid and Nancy, Meantime
- Danny Aiello – The Closer, Do the Right Thing, The January Man, Moonstruck
- Why? Besson. Oldman. Very good film
- Seen: Two or three times previously. Now 27 May 2017
Assassins are not cool. I mean, come on, they kill people for money. That is really not OK.
Why then is Léon so cool? Must be the round shades and the black coat and the too short trouser legs. And the houseplant. And his friendship with the young Mathilda, the neighbour girl who lives with her drug dealing dad, hooker mum, abusive older sister and beloved little brother.
Social realism on a high excitement level.
Pill-popping, poetic, Beethoven-loving, totally insane Gary Oldman murders Mathilda’s family while she’s at the supermarket. Léon takes her in. She finds out he’s a hitman and thinks that’s cool. She offers to do his housekeeping if he teaches her to be a hitman so she can kill the men who killed her brother. Léon says no. A lot of good that does. She may be a little girl but she’s a tough, fast-talking, street smart charmer.
The film is tender, funny and complex. And exciting.
Jean Reno is perfect as the vulnerable, ruthless, kind illiterate Léon. Gary Oldman is a brilliant mad villain as only Gary Oldman can be. Young Natalie Portman is incredible in the star-making role.
5 * of 5