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Léon aka The Professional pairs Jean Reno and then-newcomer Natalie Portman as a lonely hitman named Leon with a code of honor and a streak of decency with an abused, neglected and equally lonely child named Mathilda caught in the cross-hairs of a corrupt DEA and his murderous colleagues. Léon meets and grows to care for sullen Mathilda instantly when he moves into the meager apartment building she and her uncaring and criminally involved family reside-only her baby brother brings her any love or joy. Mathilda's life soon is in danger when her father crosses the sinister and psychotic, drug-addled DEA Stansfield, who executes her entire family and seeks to silence her. Léon takes Mathilda in and they forge a potent relationship that's something between best friends, substitute father/daughter and even unconventional lovers with coming-of-age undertones as the socially stunted Léon protects Mathilda and she seeks revenge for her little brother's death. The movie balances crime drama, action and thriller elements with a developing a subplot akin to a love story, as Léon and Mathilda's feelings blossom and redeem them both. While the notion of older man/younger girl bonding might well be off-putting for many, director Luc Besson manages to keep it innocent and focuses on how two hurt and lonely hearts might meet and discover love despite innumerable obstacles. Years later, this is one of those movies that can stand the test of time and be both entertaining and thought-provoking! For fans of Luc Besson films, a terrific Jean Reno, an adorable then-first-time actress Natalie Portman, and a scene-chewing Gary Oldman as the twisted main villain. A Classic.

Erik M.

Continuity mistake: In the very first scene where Old Tony is debriefing Leon, we see Leon pick up his glass of milk and drink the entire glass. However, if you look at the reflection of Leon's glasses as he takes the glass away from his mouth, you can see that the milk is not finished. (00:02:30)

More mistakes in Leon

Mathilda: Is life always this hard, or is it just when you're a kid?
Leon: Always like this.

More quotes from Leon

Trivia: Keith A. Glascoe, who plays Benny, one of Stansfield's (Gary Oldman) men, was also a New York Firefighter and sadly died carrying out his duties during the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers.

Jeff Walker

More trivia for Leon

Question: I was wondering about the title change from "Leon" to the "Professional". Was the title only changed in the U.S. and if so why?

Answer: According to IMDb.com the title was only changed in the United States and the reason why was maybe audiences would find the title, "The Professional" more appealing than "Leon."

Tobin OReilly

More questions & answers from Leon

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