'' THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT '' - Classic performances from Hollywood's Youth # 2 NATALIE PORTMAN in '' LEON : THE PROFESSIONAL ''
French Director Luc Besson's 1994 Masterpiece , '' LEON : THE PROFESSIONAL '' introduced Motion Picture audiences everywhere , to the amazing talent of a young Natalie Portman .
In the Film , Portman was Mathilda , a 12 year-old New York Child who's taken under the wing of a professional ' cleaner ' , when her family is murdered by corrupt officers of the New York Division of the Drug Enforcement Agency .
Mathilda is a young girl who catches the eye of the new Neighbor Leon , a French assassin , as she sits smoking outside her apartment one day when he returns to the building . The child sports a black eye , and is often the target of verbal and physical abuse from both her Parents and older Sister . When Mathilda's Father , who's acting as a drop for corrupt DEA Cops , sneaks into the stash , the family is murdered by the Cops excluding Mathilda , whose shopping trip has temporarily saved her life . Leon then reluctantly admits the child into his Apartment and life , when her fate is certain to be grave , in a tense hallway confrontation .
The pair then bond , with the girl teaching the hit-man to read , while teaching her the ins and outs of his profession , as she plots to avenge the murder of her four year old Brother by the dirty Stansfield(Gary Oldman) .
Portman's performance in the Film is remarkable , her terror as she awaits her fate in the hallway is brilliantly portrayed , her grim determination to avenge her beloved sibling is fiercely real , and a showdown , in a station restroom , with Oldman is a classic scene of suspense . The bond between Leon and Mathilda is true and mesmerizing to watch , the chemistry between Jean Reno and Portman is very evident and the duo shine , playing off each other .
'' LEON : THE PROFESSIONAL '' is a classic in the Crime Genre , with notable performances from Danny Aiello , Gary Oldman , Jean Reno , and a wonderful turn from a young , and very talented Natalie Portman .