Reverse Lolita introduces the world to Natalie Portman.
When people talk about the perils and trappings of being a child star they tend to forget the success stories such as Oscar winner Christian Bale (Empire of the Sun), Oscar nominee Leonardo Di Caprio (This Boy’s Life AND What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) and of course Oscar winner Natalie Portman.
Portman is as assured and as confident as in many of her later roles as *spoiler* newly orphaned whirlwind Mathilda. She manages to bring an unrealistically written character to life in Luc Besson’s classic unconventional and platonic love story. Jean Reno is perfect as the unassuming hitman who takes Mathilda under his wing but it is Gary Oldman who really steals the show with a towering and demented performance as bent cop Stansfield.
I actually watched Leon when I was younger and didn’t enjoy it but I am glad I gave it another chance as it so refreshing to see what is essentially a gangster film with so much heart and the relationship between Mathilda and Leon is one of the more memorable on screen partnerships.
#28 in the hallowed IMDB top 250, Leon has something for everyone. A classic if not quite a masterpiece.