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3. AVALON (1990) - Rivals Brooklyn
While there are plenty of immigration tales that one could seek out after watching Best Picture nominee Brooklyn, an obvious place to start would be with Barry Levinson's Avalon. While Levinson, who won an Oscar for directing Rain Man, is a hit-and-miss filmmaker at best, his semi-autobiographical "Baltimore quadrilogy" (which also includes Diner, Tin Men, and Liberty Heights) have always been solid. Avalon, chronicling the plight of his immigrant parentage, is easily the finest of the four. Armin Mueller-Stahl (Angels & Demons) plays Sam Krichinsky, the patriarch of a Polish American family who settles in Baltimore in 1914 and watches the world change with wide eyes. A superb ensemble cast - Aidan Quinn, Elizabeth Perkins, Joan Plowright, Kevin Pollack, a very young Elijah Wood - contribute to this wonderful slice-of-life that also ends on a quietly moving note.