The Rewind Movie Podcast
LEON: The Professional (1994) - Episode 63
I like these calm little moments before the storm. Friend of the show Joe returns to discuss a hugely impactful film from his adolescence, Luc Besson’s Gallic 1994 hitman-with-a-heart thriller LEON.
When her family is gunned down by a drug-addled, maniacal DEA agent (Gary Oldman), 12 year old Mathilda (Natalie Portman) seeks shelter in the apartment of her shy neighbour Leon (Jean Reno) - unbeknownst to her, a Mafia ‘cleaner’ who lives a monastic life. Reluctantly taking her in, Leon begins training the vulnerable Mathilda, seeing that her desire for revenge is likely to put her in danger without his guidance.
An influential and iconic cult movie that introduced audiences to a soon-to-be-huge movie star in the young Portman, a reliable go-to character actor in the soulful Reno, and, to English speaking audiences at least, an entire sub-genre of French action cinema that continues to flourish to this day.
Outro Song - 'Moi Lolita' (2000) - Alizee
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