Film and Food

Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy

Best Picture – Titanic (1997)

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet & Billy Zane

Rating 8/10

This is not an easy movie to watch. Well, the first half is not too bad. It’s the last hour and a half that takes your breath away. People in fear, drowning, freezing, panicking; not a pretty sight. But well made that’s for sure.

Modern day explorers are searching the wreck of the RMS Titanic for looking for a long lost diamond necklace. This leads them to Titanic survivor Rose Dawson Calvert (Gloria Stuart) who tells them her story.

When she was 17, Rose (Winslet) joined her fiance Cal (Zane) and her mumma on the Titanic as first class passengers. Meanwhile poor old Jack (DiCaprio) won a ticket at the last possible minute. Rose despairs at the loveless future she envisions with Cal and attempts suicide by climbing the railing and attempting to jump. Jack flies in with wit and charm and saves her.

This begins their relationship. Sneaking around the ship, dodging the butler, steaming up car windows, you know the gist. Then the iceberg hits and Jack is arrested. The ship is sinking and everyone is in disbelief. The orchestra keeps playing. The lower levels start flooding and people start dying. A cheery hour or so later and the ship is sunk. Sad, sad moments that will haunt you forever.

This is an epic movie. I know I use that term all the time but how else can I describe it? This was an unbelievable story to start with. This film taps into the emotion, the panic, the dread and the terror of this horrible part of history.

Though this is a long, long film, it is addictive, fascinating. There’s the love story to satisfy the hopeless romantics and the action and spitting to make the fellas happy. Director James Cameron did such a brilliant job. It is so realistic.

The only thing that made it a bit naff was the slightly fake special effects and the casting of DiCaprio. I know now he is quite a good actor but the whole time I was just seeing the little boy from Growing Pains.

But that’s just nitpicking. It’s not a film I could watch a lot because of the intensity but it is a classic and well deserving of the Best Picture Oscar.

Titanic Trivia:

  • Budget – $200 million – eeks!
  • Matthew McConaughey was the studio’s pick for the role of Jack but James Cameron wanted DiCaprio.
  • The spitting scene was pretty much all improvised.
  • The farewell scene at the beginning of the movie was filmed in a parking lot with a green screen.
  • This was a co-production between 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures.
  • Mirrors were used to create a bigger boiler room as only 3 boilers were made.
  • Gloria Stuart was only 86 years old. She had to be made up to look 101. She didn’t like this process.
  • Jokers gone wild – on the last day of shooting someone mixed angel’s dust (!?) in with the food served to those working on the film. 80 were hospitalised, some with hallucinations.
  • This film cost more than the real Titanic which cost between $120 and $150 million.
  • Real caviar was served in the dinner scene.
  • None of the actors won an Oscar.
  • Won 11 Academy Awards.
  • Grossed $1.8 Billion, second only to Cameron’s other hit, Avatar .
  • Winslet  refused to wear a wetsuit and then came down with pneumonia and then nearly quit the film.
  • The hands used in the sketching Rose scene were actually James Cameron’s.
  • The old people snuggling on the bed as the ship sinks are based on real life couple Ida and Isidor Strauss, the owners of Macy’s in New York City.
  • Before the nudie scene, Winslet flashed DiCaprio, to relieve tensions.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow auditioned but Winslet beat her! Take that!
  • The shoot lasted 160 days.
  • Short stuntmen were hired in the boiler scenes to make everything look bigger.
  • James Cameron wrote, directed, produced and edited this film

And the Best Picture Oscar for 1998 goes to Shakespeare In Love. I wasn’t happy Jan! But we’ll give it a go. Check out my review next week.

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