A stunning blockbuster in which the 1912 sinking of the Titanic is the backdrop to a tender romance between two passengers, poor Leonardo DiCaprio and rich Kate Winslet.
Director James Cameron’s film is some big movie – made on a mega-budget ($200million), taking record amounts at the box office and showered with 11 Oscars (including Best Film, Best Director, Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography and Best Score). The ship looks stunningly luxurious (an Oscar for Art Direction), as do the costumes (also Oscar-winning).
However, it is the human drama that focuses our attention. DiCaprio is travelling steerage class, while Winslet (deservedly Oscar-nominated) is the rebellious daughter of a wealthy American family engaged to snobbish Billy Zane.
Naturally, fate brings Winslet and DiCaprio together and they have to grapple to survive not just the rising waters once the ship finally hits that fateful iceberg, but also a gun-toting Zane.
The story is told in flashback from the framing tale of elderly Titanic survivor Gloria Stuart to the diving crew exploring the liner’s remains on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. The camera eerily roaming around the real wreckage makes for some haunting images, while the sinking of the ship is truly spectacular.
Cameron’s captivating movie was the biggest box-office hit of all time until it was overtaken by another of his movies, Avatar.