Avalon [PG] 
Overall movie: *****
EJW content: Must-see; major character, best "little kid" acting
This was Elijah's first major role in a feature film. He's not the lead, but it's a semi-autobiographical movie and he plays the character who's based on the writer/director as a young boy, so it's a fairly large part. The movie is family-centered in a positive way, without being simplistic or overly sentimental.
Elijah's talent for showing realistic emotion is already evident here. The movie is about an extended immigrant family as it adjusts to life in America over three generations, and the character's relationship with his grandfather is important to the story and very well done. A great deal of credit, naturally, goes to Barry Levinson (Rain Man), the writer/director, who gives "himself" wonderfully age-appropriate ways of thinking and acting.
I'd seen this movie when it was in the theaters but didn't pay much attention then to who the actors were (well, okay, except for Aidan Quinn, the greatest blue eyes in my generation, who plays the father of Elijah's character--someone got the genetics right in this one). When I viewed it again for this list, I discovered Elijah's character was the one whose story had come to mind whenever I'd thought of this movie over the years.