Titanic was easily one of the most groundbreaking films of its time, and many years later, it still manages to hold up to its reputation.
A crew out in the Atlantic is plunging into the depths of the ocean to search amongst the ruins of the Titanic, in search of a priceless diamond that is rumored to have gone down with the ship. When they bring a safe up to the surface, they assume the treasure they seek will be inside, but what they find instead is a portrait, leading them to speak with an elderly woman named Rose (Gloria Stuart). She begins to tell her tale of a love story aboard the famed vessel that was previously unknown; about her time aboard the Titanic as a young first class passenger (Kate Winslet), being forced into a marriage, and her unexpected romance with a third class passenger named Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio).
When Titanic was first released, I was a bit too young to see it in the theater, but I can still vividly remember the impact it had on the world at the time. It was all anyone could discuss, and I can distinctly recall wanting to see it so badly, because I just had to see what all the buzz was about. When I finally got to view it, and was old enough to appreciate it, it was crystal clear as to why this movie made the massive impact that it did. Titanic packs a powerful emotional punch, and has performances and effects that have, for the most part, stood the test time.
For me, Titanic isn't a movie that I can watch time and time again, but it's certainly not because I don't think it's worth multiple viewings. There are two main reasons I feel this is a once a year type of movie. First of all, its runtime makes it tricky, because with it being over three hours, it can be difficult to carve the time out to watch it, though when you do sit down to view Titanic in its entirety, the time flies and you don't even feel as if you have watched an extensively long movie. The second reason Titanic isn't a film I gravitate towards over and over again, is because the images that are presented on the screen in the last hour or so are so strong, that it can take a bit of an emotional toll on the viewer. Though it didn't bother me near as much when I watched this movie when I was younger, now, when I see the frightened children on the board as the ship begins to sink, or when I see the people frantically treading water once the Titanic has disappeared beneath the surface of the ocean, it finds its way to my core, and makes me realize with incredibly clarity just how horrific the ordeal must have been for the real people involved. Yes, the love story that unfolds throughout the film is beautiful and will likely go down in history as one of the most famous on screen couples in cinema, but I believe it is the realism of the tragedy that makes Titanic such an impressive film.
What continues to astonish me every time I watch this movie, is the practical effects that were used to create the sinking of the Titanic. Some of the CGI moments haven't exactly aged well, but the flooding of the interior of the ship is still very impressive. It brilliantly shows the power of the sea and I still can't believe that the filmmakers purposefully destroyed their stunning set in the process. Such a risky move to do, where if something had gone wrong, the entire climax of the film could've been completely ruined, but their risk more than paid off. It makes the fear, panic, and disaster seem so palpable, that you can't help but be fully wrapped into every second of the ship's final moments.
Epic stories like this don't come around every year, but when they do, their level of success is very commonly measured against Titanic's. It is a movie that has made numerous contributions into the cinematic archives, and will always be remembered for its music, dialogue, award wins, or even its controversial door size. However, for me, I will always remember it as the first really big movie that started to pique my interest in the world of the Academy Awards and the filmmaking universe.
1998 Best Picture Winner- Titanic
1998 Best Director Winner- James Cameron
1998- Best Cinematography Winner- Russell Carpenter
1998 Best Art Direction-Set Decoration Winner-Titanic
1998 Best Costume Design Winner-Deborah Lynn Scott
1998 Best Sound Winner- Titanic
1998 Best Film Editing Winner- Titanic
1998 Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing Winner- Titanic
1998 Best Effects, Visual Effects Winner- Titanic
1998 Best Music, Original Song Winner- "My Heart Will Go On"
1998 Best Music, Original Dramatic Score Winner- James Horner