- 2 hr 6 min
In the heartwarming drama film, Avalon, director Barry Levinson tells the story of one family's journey to America in the early 20th century. Set in Baltimore during the Jewish immigration, the movie follows the Krichinsky family's rise from poverty to prosperity. The patriarch of the family, Sam Krichinsky, played brilliantly by Armin Mueller-Stahl, is a hardworking immigrant who arrives in America in 1914. Sam has a tremendous sense of family, and he keeps the traditions of the old country close to his heart by telling his grandchildren stories about the family and their origins in Poland while they gather for the holidays.
The story follows the family's journey from setting up their first business, selling fruit on the streets, to growing a successful chain of department stores. The family's patriarch, Sam, is obsessed with the American Dream and works long hours to make his business successful. He inspires his sons, Gabriel and Jules, to get involved in the business, and they end up opening a new store during the Great Depression, defying the odds to make it a success.
One subplot of the film involves Gabriel and his wife, Avalyn, played by Elizabeth Perkins. Gabriel is a dreamer who is fascinated by technology, and he sees the potential of the new medium, television. Avalyn becomes the main inspiration behind Gabriel's dream, and they decide to open a store that sells televisions. The name of the store, Avalon, is a tribute to Avalyn, for her unwavering support and drive in the project.
As time passes, the family's generations grow apart as their lives change, and technology advances. The old values of the Krichinsky family are getting lost in the new, fast-paced world. But the traditions and memories that Sam once cherished continue to resist, and his grandchildren emulate them. The younger generations of the Krichinsky family try to keep up with these stories of the past.
The film moves back and forth between different time periods, as it shows the present-day Krichinsky family reliving the great times of the family's past, creating a compelling portrait of the family's history. In the end, the original immigrants' children and grandchildren have become prosperous and a part of the American dream. However, as time goes on, they must confront the ravages of history in the 20th century.
The way the film explores the traditions of the Krichinsky family and the immigrant experience is fascinating. It also shows the experience of immigrants and minority groups in America at the time. Avalon is a moving and emotional story about the enduring spirit of family and the importance of keeping in touch with one's cultural roots. Though the movie is set in a specific time and place, its themes of family, culture, and memory can resonate with audiences of all backgrounds and ages.
The actors have done a fantastic job of bringing the story to life. Armin Mueller-Stahl's portrayal of Sam Krichinsky is outstanding, capturing the essence of the immigrant experience in America. Aidan Quinn and Leo Fuchs play Gabriel and Jules, respectively, with a naturalness that makes them feel like part of the family. Elizabeth Perkins as Avalyn is charming and brings a sense of warmth to the screen.
The film also boasts an excellent soundtrack, which features well-known songs from the era of the film's setting. Such tracks as "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now" or "Four Leaf Clover" help to capture the atmosphere and mood of the time.
In conclusion, Avalon is a fantastic movie that explores themes such as family, cultural identity, and the American Dream with sensitivity and warmth. The story is compelling and well-told, and the performances are excellent. The film is a moving tribute to the Krichinsky family and the immigrant experience as a whole, and it has the power to touch audiences on a universal level.
Avalon is a 1990 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 6 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2 and a MetaScore of 68.