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Barry Levinson's semi-autobiographical film follows the effect of American life on several generations of a Russian immigrant family in Baltimore. The initially strong family comes into conflict when several of the younger family members opt for assimilation and modern life, over the objections of the family's more traditional patriarch.
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Critic Reviews for Avalon
Tracing the fortunes and misfortunes of an extended family of Jewish immigrants, this melancholy memory film is too soft and episodic, lacking the narrative focus of either Diner or Tin Men, which form a trilogy.
An overstuffed family drama that's not nearly as magical as it thinks it is.
A fine film that showcases early Baltimore.
Solid Levinson tale, well acted
Beautiful movie about families and how they can grow apart. Great Thanksgiving day selection!
Typically misdirected Barry Levinson film, but impressively ambitious.
A moving look at what has been lost as families have adapted to American life.
Levinson ends his Baltimore Trilogy in very fine form.
Audience Reviews for Avalon
An insular Jewish immigrant family adjusts to American life in 1950s Baltimore.
In the sub-genre of film that is "immigrants adjust to American life," a genre that In America dominates, Avalon is not bad. Its elements of magical realism ring false and over-bearing, but the characters are sharply constructed and often interesting. Strong performances by Armin Mueller-Stahl (has he ever given a bad performance) and Aidan Quinn (who has given plenty of bad performances) carry the film despite circular plotlines about who cuts the turkey and when.
Overall, this film is good, but it's nothing to write back to the Motherland about.
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