“Léon: The Professional” is a 1994 French action-thriller film directed by Luc Besson. The film tells the story of Léon (played by Jean Reno), a professional hitman who takes in a young girl named Mathilda (played by Natalie Portman) after her family is murdered by corrupt DEA agents. As Léon teaches Mathilda how to become a “cleaner” like him, they form a close bond that is put to the test when their lives are threatened by a vengeful DEA agent (played by Gary Oldman).
The film was well-received by critics, who praised its performances, direction, and screenplay. It has since become a cult classic and is considered one of the greatest action films ever made.
“Léon: The Professional” received several award nominations, including a César Award nomination for Best Director for Luc Besson. However, due to controversy surrounding the film's violence and the relationship between Léon and Mathilda, it was largely overlooked by major award shows. Nonetheless, it has won a number of smaller awards, including the Audience Award at the 1995 Fantasporto film festival, the Audience Award at the 1995 Seattle International Film Festival, and the Best Film Award at the 1995 Tokyo International Film Festival.
|Directed by||Luc Besson|
|Produced by||Patrice Ledoux|
|Written by||Luc Besson|
|Starring||Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello,|
|Music by||Éric Serra|
|Edited by||Sylvie Landra|
|Les Films du Dauphin|
|Distributed by||Gaumont Buena Vista International|
|Release date||14 September 1994 (France)|
|Running time||133 minutes|
|Box office||$46.1 million|