Netflix has planned a variety of new film and series titles to be added to their shelves in March 2022. On March 1st, 2022, a very controversial Natalie Portman film began streaming on Netflix.
March 2022 has seen the addition of two distinct Natalie Portman titles to the streamer. Besides James McTeguire’s 2005 dystopian political thriller, V for Vendetta, the 1994 film, Léon: The Professional, has begun streaming on Netflix.
Directed by Luc Besson, the film starred Portman in her debut role alongside Jean Reno and Gary Oldman.
The film documents an unusual relationship between a professional hitman and his twelve-year-old protegee as the latter learns the hitman’s job. The twelve-year-old girl comes under his vigilance after her family is brutally murdered by her drug-dealing father’s employers.
As he gives her shelter, he teaches her the tricks of the trade to seek revenge on the murderers. The film saw an 11-year-old Portman, who defeated 2000 other actresses in the audition, make a fantastic debut as a promising actress. She also revealed how the film taught her to “cry on cue”.
However, since Portman appeared dressed as Marilyn Monroe, Madonna and various other risque avatars, showing unimaginable maturity for her age, the film was looked down upon. Portman even received rape threats at 18 that showed the mentality of the audience who constantly wanted her to cover her body.
While the film was pretty controversial, the actress opened about the same in a 2020 interview. She said that she was “definitely aware” of how she was being portrayed “as this Lolita figure.”
She continued, “Being sexualized as a child, I think, took away from my own sexuality because it made me afraid, and it made me [feel] like the way I could be safe was to be like, ‘I’m conservative,’ and ‘I’m serious and you should respect me,’ and ‘I’m smart,’ and ‘don’t look at me that way.’”
Reno was mindful of all of the above and decided to portray the hitman in an emotionally stunted manner to dispel any possibility of the older taking advantage of the younger’s vulnerability.
While the film was critically panned, it is a brilliant portrait of Portman’s making as an incredible performer.
Watch the film on Netflix now.