With a phenomenal cast uniting Jean Reno, Gary Oldman and Natalie Portman in her first leading role, Leon: The Professional is a stylistically innovative action thriller which shows Besson at his schizophrenic best. His first film shot in America, The Professional physically unites Besson with the national cinema which has most influenced his narrative and style. Leon is an Italian immigrant who shares his New York apartment with his beloved pot plants and works as a hitman for the mob boss Uncle Tony. In spite of his violent profession, Leon has maintained his humanity, drawing the line at taking jobs involving women or children. Down the hall from Leon is 12 year-old Matilda: a typically confused and angry pre-teen, Matilda's life as she knows it comes crashing down after her entire family is massacred by some crooked DEA cops. Against all of his better judgment, Leon takes the girl in, endeavouring to teach her the violent skills with which she may one day exact her revenge.