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Palm Leaves, Poster. Together, Posters. Aquarelle Shape Poster. Abstract Acrylic Poster. Abstract Composition Poster. Golden leaves Poster. La Lune, Poster. Agave Leaves No3 Poster. Natalie Portman's Mathilda is the antithesis of these namby-pamby Dawson's Creek actors-in-waiting. For starters, she has something justifiable to gripe about, in that her entire family has just been slaughtered by Gary Oldman and his gang of crooked DEA officers. This is a bit of a blow, to say the least, but Mathilda takes it all in her stride and teams up with Leon in a bid for revenge.
So begins one of the stranger relationships in silver screen history, but one of the most memorable. On the face of it, a love story between a twelve year old girl and a hairy French hitman would raise a few eyebrows among more conservative movie-goers, but director Luc Besson handles it so beautifully, it seems like the most natural thing on earth. They are united in being totally alone in the world - indeed, the scene where Mathilda walks quietly down the corridor past the carnage in her apartment and knocks on Leon's door, imploring him in a tearful whisper to let her in is as breathtaking as it is heartbreaking.
Leon is wary at first, but she soon wins him round and starts to gently bring him out of the shell. Portman is truly astonishing - one can almost forgive her for being a part of the appalling Star Wars prequels on the strength of this one performance. The iconic image of this tiny, grubby little girl clutching Leon's beloved plant and trotting to keep up with her lanky hero's giant strides is one that will live long in the memory.
Aiello and Oldman at his sadistic, malevolent best provide predictably excellent support, there is a wonderfully suspenseful yet satisfying ending - heck, there's even a decent Sting song playing over the credits - for this if nothing else it would be remiss of me to give Leon anything other than top marks. Twinsen61 19 January Leon is one of the most emotionally intense movies ever made. French director Luc Besson uses everything: actors, music, camera angles, lighting to create an unique experience - "It's not realism, it's not naturalism - it's heightened reality" as Gary Oldman very well put it.
In "The making of The Professional" Besson says "If I imagine somebody in the street try to knock on my daughter, I kill the guy, in five seconds. I kill him, and I think "It's in me, I'm a beast! The music and the sound are excellent and are used in a masterly fashion - you can hear Fatman's heart beating desperately or a low claustrophobic sound when Stansfield turns to look at Mathilda's father.
However Leon does not work only on this primary level, it also has an intelligent story. It may seem to be almost a fairy-tale, but don't be fooled - just like his character Besson is serious. This movie has a message: without love we are dead, even if we don't see it. Only true love give meaning to our lives: "everything else reminds me a big yogurt: warm and rancid" as Mathilda says in the original script, which is available on the net under the name Leon Version 1.
Is this true in "real life"? I don't know but this movie can make you wonder. Then of course there's the sensuality.
It's hypocritical to deny it, the camera interacts with Mathilda in a mesmerising fashion. It's not sick and it's not degrading: it's art, subtle and beautiful. Leon is not perfect but it has so many great moments that all its flaws can be forgiven. It's a movie that really should not be missed, unless you are concerned with its amorality.
And don't be - Leon is less violent than many action movies and the unusual relationship between the main characters is handled mostly with genuine feeling and tact. This film was absolutely amazing. I have spent hours re-watching various scenes and noticing all the perfection with which they are acted and directed. It's not the violence or action sequences that make this movie so great although they are well done It would be so easy to just film the door opening, but instead we see light illuminating Natalie Portman's face, symbolizing something angelic. And the moment has so much more meaning.
I know a lot of people who have seen this film because they are action fans. I'm not. But I'm glad I finally found it, because it's a wonderful film in so many other ways. With enough blood and gore to please any fan of action movies, and a unique love story to please the ladies, this is a great movie for couples to watch together. However, to truly comprehend the beauty of this film, you must see the European Cut.
The U. Elements of the story which are only hinted at in the U.
The two main characters are a recently-orphaned girl who is wise beyond her years and a hitman who is still an innocent. Their relationship unfolds against a backdrop of murder and revenge as director Luc Besson explores issues of age and maturity, good and evil, and the interplay of life, death and love. The acting in this film is superb. Reno has an expressive face which conveys a myriad of emotions with great sensitivity and few words. He is cold as ice as the almost super-human 'professional', but his performance is most moving when he reveals his sensitive side.
Watching as his wounded soul slowly begins to heal is enough to touch the heart of any woman, but it is handled so subtly that it never becomes too 'sappy'. In her film debut, Natalie Portman turns in a performance that is beautiful beyond belief. She manages the transition from a frightened child to a woman capable of killing so convincingly that it makes the relationship between she and Leon not only believable, but understandable. Gary Oldman is just the best psycho there is, and it is kind of nice to see him without all the strange makeup for a change.
As a dirty cop in this film he personifies evil, and it is a joy to watch him do his thing. The special effects are all you could hope for.
Besson does great actions scenes - especially the explosions. There is also a lot of humor and when you throw in the tender love story - this picture has it all! This movie is rated 63 on the imdb top movie list, showing that people obviously like this movie, and with good reason. But why the hell didn;t this movie garner at least one single oscar or golden globe nomination??
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Luc Besson's "The Professional" is sort of a companion piece to his international breakthrough hit "La Femme Nikiti", and in many ways it's an even better film. It raises the stakes of Besson's playful women-with-guns theme by making the heroine a year-old, played by a then unknown Natalie Portman. Jean Reno is excellent as her assassin trainer and surrogate father. Oldman is completely over the top in one of his best bad-guy roles, obsessed with both Beethoven and butchery. As a gritty, suspenseful thriller, this film won't leave action fans feeling cheated, but the film is so much more than that.
At the center of "The Professional" is a wonderful father and daughter-like relationship between two damaged strangers who find solace in each other. An interview with Anne Parillaud, in the Evening Standard, Both the central protagonists attempt to come to terms with their dysfunctionality, to society, against a background of violence, which they both continue to act upon as the agent of someone else. There is no clean difference we may also include Le Dernier Combat for comparison. The only difference is gender.
I always found that until obtaining the "Version Integral" there was a character hole in the plot. The original cut released for US audiences was felt, by Besson, had an "offending" scene cut which ruined later scenes. The American test audiences hated it, seeing it as perverse and paedophiliac.
The film was still panned by US critics as quasi-child pornography on general release. What it to be understood about this film, and this is what infuriated Besson, is that the film is about pure love. Not sex, which is all the Americans, could see. And so we have ascertained that the characters in Besson's films are, simply, great.
Then there is the action which is all the grace and style of Nikita. Typical of Besson's style with fast action-shooting and violent characterisation. This has to be one of Jean Reno's and by far Natalie Portman's best screen performance. To me, Gary Oldman plays his part to the tee, said by some magazines to be the best screen bad guy - it is one of his best performances.
Stylisation and excess are hallmarks of Besson's work. Characters are larger than life. Besson's characters lack psychological depth. Besson's work appeals to the tastes of popular culture and may not please that of the elite - arguably a reason for the rejection of his work by many intellectual film journals.
I have yet to hear of a person putting a bad word against this film. If you like French Cinema or consider yourself a cinephile you must see the latter. Sickfrog 14 August This film, better known in the U. Jean Reno plays his role as a "cleaner" with incredible subtlety. Leon tries to keep his emotions completely suppressed, yet Matilda in an extraordinary performance by a young Natalie Portman, who is destined to become a very powerful actress into her adult life bring out in him a new-found joy for life that accompanies his growing paternal instincts.
But, the most dynamic element of this film is undeniably Gary Oldman's performance as a wildly sadistic and crooked DEA agent with his own narcotic-induced demons. His obsessions eventually lead him to the brink of absolute madness in his hunt for the cleaner. Truly, this is Oldman's finest performance to date, worthy of Oscar glory, though sadly forgotten. Though, I cannot exactly praise his most recent effort with the sci-fi misfire, "The Fifth Element. Gjay2 25 April This is his benchmark, his classical composition.
Look at the precise, intricate scenes.
It's a symphony in cinema. Straight off, it's action. Intelligently shot, and scripted.
It makes everything that follows hard to live upto. But it does so easily. It's stylish without being showy, it's deep without being sentimental. And it's just hugely enjoyable. Seeing the friendship between newly orphaned mathilda and skilled assasin leon bloom, is tenderly done. At risk of slipping into a sappy bond, besson keeps it easy on the emotions, without coming off as shallow. The actors are all spot on, most notably the debut from a young natalie portman as mathilda. Showing an angry, sad, pent up, in love girl is no simple task but she breezes through it, touching all the right notes.
And jean reno as the title character, is minimal but very effecting. Hard to understand, but easy to relate too. But gary oldman steals it, with his glorious overacting.
He's as scary as he is determind. His line delivery is almost perfect. And his fate is very fitting. If only they made more intelligent action movies, then they could contend with this film. But as it stands right now, leon is one of the best action dramas ever made. The storyline recalls some parts of John Cassavetes' 'Gloria', but the performances of the debutant Natalie Portman and the always-excellent Jean Reno upgrade this film.
My vote is ten. I've since watched it probably 4 or 5 times, and have recently bought the Directors Cut. It was kind of heart warming, having a great deal of my memories of this movie from the previous 15 years being revisited upon me so eloquently whilst reading the comments. It is a glorious film. One that I've not been able to forget for all the best reasons. I think you could probably choose any sub category art that forms a movie i. What makes this film Extra Special however, is the emotional 'ballet' taking place throughout the film.
It's one of those films. I fell in love with Matilda. I've watched everyone of Natalie Portman's films since too. I was already a fan of Gary Oldman. This film just added extra glue to that bond. He made a brilliant sociopath, in direct contrast to Leon's anti- sociopath. I occasionally feel for a character or two if it's a great romance , but it's very rare for me to be drawn into three so very different people's intimate lives so easily. It's a shame there are too few films of this calibre.
ConkerBFD91 18 February Many movies have characters in them who are hired assassins, or "hit men". They're the standard "badass" character that kills people in order to collect a reward. The next 10 minutes become an enthralling cat and mouse game where Leon shows the viewers just why he is known as the cleaner: he is extremely good at this job. We also see Leon's human side, shown by his passion for milk, his affection for his plant whom he calls his best friend and when he becomes engrossed watching Singin' in the Rain.
Leon seems quite content with this life, not seeming to want anything more. That is, until he is forced to take custody of a twelve-year-old girl Natalie Portman whose entire family was cruelly massacred by a corrupt DEA agent Gary Oldman. This is where Leon is forced to change his lifestyle for the little girl, and when she wishes to get into contract killing to avenge her brother, Leon becomes her mentor and protector.
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