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Leon: Director's Cut [DVD] 
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Léon (Jean Reno, Da Vinci Code, Ronin) is a deadly and elusive killer. He lives a routine life, alone in New York with just his plant for company, until the day twelve year-old Mathilde (Nathalie Portman, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, V for Vendetta) rings his doorbell in desperation and so becomes part of his life. Mathilde has just narrowly escaped being murdered along with her parents and baby brother by ruthless, corrupt cop Stansfield (Gary Oldman, Harry Potter, The Dark Night) and his colleagues. Léon reluctantly takes Mathilde under his wing, and the two go on the run. But Mathilde wants revenge, and as she soon discovers, Léon can teach her how to exact it… Also starring Danny Aiello, this is the first UK release of the Director’s Cut on standard def.
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Gary Oldman plays a corrupt government official whose maniacal greed leads to murder on the streets of New York. A deadly game of cat and mouse ensures when he crosses paths with a lone hit man named Leon (Jean Reno). Caught in the middle is an orphaned 12 year old girl who can not forget or forgive the man who killed her family. With sharp execution and cunning force Leon delivers exceptional drama and suspense right from the start.
To say it was written and shot within 90 days is remarkable. They were waiting for Bruce Willis to be free before they could start shooting 5th Element. The crew and equipment were going to go to waste so Besson shot Leon.
The story and direction is very good however the film shines because of the high level of acting talent.
Oldman certainly, Reno definitely, Portman is just remarkable though. She was 12!!! the depth she brings to Mathilda is breathtaking.
Damaged, precocious, world weary but still just a child. Stunning and probably one of the best child actor performances ever.
The "Lolita" scene that some people find disturbing (and was taken out of the American edit because audiences started awkwardly giggling through it) shows just how damaged Mathilda is. Russo plays, and had planned to play, Leon as a slightly slow minded and an emotionally repressed character who had been hurt by a past love. He adopts Matilda and never saw her as a sexual partner and rejects any notion she has of such a relationship. The sexual undertones and tension comes from a disturbed and abused Mathilda.
If you want to see the first film appearance of the Leon character then get your hands on Besson's "La Femme Nikita". The character is called Victor the cleaner in it. Besson felt the role was under utilised so hence Leon: The Professional
Watched after more than 20 years, Leon not only confirms its perfect casting choices (Reno became a symbol of French cinema and in general of silent, detached noir hero, while Natalie Portman simply became...Natalie Portman) but still a dramatic, almost tragic yet poetic and romantic spirit, that grow stronger the more violence and action take hold, underlining the contrast between the evil of the world and the ideal small intimate world where the two characters try to hide from the real one. Leon is realistic and lyrical at the same time, injecting a personal and original touch in an otherwise revenge story.
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