Avalon

1990 | Drama | 126 minutes | English 

Info

In 1914, Sam Krichinsky emigrates from Eastern Europe to Baltimore. It’s a city with  tightly-knit Jewish Russian families. In America, Sam meets his future wife, Eva. It’s now the late 40s and early 50s and much has changed. Neighborhoods are transforming as more and more families are moving to the suburbs. Sam is disappointed that his son Jules doesn’t want to go into his wallpaper business.   With his cousin Izzy, Jules wants to open a discount appliance store. Sam is also annoyed that Jules and Izzy changed their last names to Kaye and Kirk. “Good for business,” they tell Sam. Their business endures armed holdups and a devastating fire. And the world is evolving so fast for Sam. Now, he must learn to cope. 

Cast
Armin Mueller-Stahl (Sam Krichinsky) / Joan Plowright (Eva Krichinsky) / Aidan Quinn (Jules Kaye) / Kevin Pollak (Izzy Kirk)
Why Stream This Film?
Of the four of Levinson’s “Baltimore Films,” Avalon  most depicts the adjustments immigrants encounter in America. As the new generation grows up, the old generation struggles to keep up. A beautiful and also a heart-wrenching film. 
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 84%
Accolades
  • Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Screenplay (Barry Levinson); Best Cinematography (Allen Daviau)
  • Golden Globe Awards: Nominated, Best Picture; Best Screenplay (Barry Levinson)
  • Writers Guild of America: Winner, Best Screenplay (Barry Levinson)
AVALON is often a warm and funny film, but it is also a sad one, and the final sequence is heartbreaking. It shows the way in which our modern families, torn loose of their roots, have left people alone and lonely—warehoused in retirement homes.
Roger Ebert

RogerEbert.com

In the fond overflowing family album that is Barry Levinson’s AVALON, the prevailing symbol of both unity and discord is a Thanksgiving turkey. The Krichinsky’s are an immigrant Jewish family in Baltimore and their every bantering, knit-picking conversation carries hints of the Old World.
Janet Maslin

The New York Times

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