In what TAXI DRIVER (1976) gave to Jodie Foster, LÉON: THE PROFESSIONAL (1994) paved, to say the least, an interesting pathway for 11-year-old Natalie Portman. The movie also double plays as a benevolent benefactor to Gary Oldman’s long hit-or-miss filmography, as his role as corrupt DEA agent Norman Stansfield remains one of his best roles in his career. After the 1990 of another assassin-oriented LA FEMME NIKITA, director Luc Besson was inspired to invent a story for one of the minor characters that happened to be a “cleaner” (both minor character in NIKITA (1990) and lead character in LÉON (1994) were played by Jean Reno). Thus burgeoned the movie’s known characteristics: striking visual images of violence and controversy that had caused some dismissal over Bresson’s efforts to make a family work between an orphan and a hitman. Featured in the second week of Somerville Theatre’s 35 mm MIDNIGHT SPECIALS, LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL reminds us while there may be human in a killer, there is always crazy in an Oldman.
LÉON: THE PROFESSIONAL dir. Luc Besson [110 min.]
Friday, July 25 & Saturday, July 26 11:59 PM @ Somerville Theater