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Titanic Movie Review

cameron james director gloria

1997 – James Cameron –

The story of the demise of the unsinkable ship of dreams in April 1912 has been told so many times that Titanic director James Cameron had to draw audiences in through a solid storyline as well as the obvious disaster. The end result is an epic of gigantic proportions, a combination of spectacular special effects and a love story marred by schmaltzy dialogue. Focusing on Jack and Rose (Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet), two young lovers with little in common, their story is told in flashback by a 101-year-old survivor (Gloria Stuart). She seeks out a treasure hunter (Bill Paxton) searching for artifacts in the wreckage. His main goal is to find the fabulous Heart of the Ocean diamond, which apparently went down with the ship. Just when he thinks he has it, the safe where it should be turns up empty except for a drawing of a nude woman wearing the necklace. And so begins the story of Rose and Jack. When the Titanic hits the iceberg, it is simply a plot development in their relationship, but what a plot development it is.

The final half of the movie is shot almost in real time as the ship takes in water and, ultimately, breaks in half and begins a vertical plunge into the ocean. The effects are overwhelming, but on their own, Titanic would simply have been another disaster movie. The reason it gained classic status nearly overnight is due to its human face. Moviegoers identify with the passengers and the dawning realization that not only is the great ship doomed, but so are they. The panic, fear, resignation, strength, arrogance and sheer negligence of the different characters feel real to the audience—they cheer on the good guys and boo the bad guys. At the same time, they're mesmerized by the vision of the tremendously huge sinking ship. Cameron hit on the right mix that audiences were looking for: “We thought there was a hunger for emotion, for character, for drama.” Boy, was he right.

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio (Jack Dawson), Kate Winslet (Rose DeWitt Bukater), Billy Zane (Cal Hockley), Kathy Bates (Molly Brown), Frances Fisher (Ruth DeWitt Bukater), Gloria Stuart (Old Rose), Bill Paxton (Brock Lovett), Bernard Hill (Captain Smith), Victor Garber (Thomas Andrews), Johathan Hyde (Bruce Ismay), David Warner (Spicer Lovejoy), Danny Nucci (Fabrizio), Suzy Amis (Lizzy Calvert) Screenwriter: James Cameron Cinematographer: Russell Carpenter Composer: James Horner Producer: James Cameron and Jon Landau for Lightstorm Entertainment; released by Paramount Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox MPAA Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 194 minutes Awards: Academy Awards 1997: Picture, Director (James Cameron), Cinematography, Art Direction, Song (“My Heart Will Go On”), Film Editing, Original Dramatic Score, Visual Effects, Sound, Costume Design; Nominations: Actress (Kate Winslet), Supporting Actress (Gloria Stuart), Makeup; British Academy Awards 1997 Nominations: Film, Director (James Cameron), Music, Cinematography, Production Design, Costumes, Editing, Sound, Special Effects, Make-up/Hair; Broadcast Film Critics Association 1997: Director (James Cameron); Directors Guild of America 1997: Director (James Cameron); Golden Globe Awards 1998: Drama, Director (James Cameron), Original Score, Song (“My Heart Will Go On”); Nominations: Drama—Actress (Kate Winslet), Drama—Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), Supporting Actress (Gloria Stuart), Screenplay; Los Angeles Film Critics Association 1997: Production Design; Screen Actors Guild Awards 1997: Supporting Actress (Gloria Stuart) Budget: $200M Box Office: $600M (to date).

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