After winning Best Picture in 1997, seeing Titanic again in 2022 proves one unavoidable truth in Hollywood: money talks.
Director-writer James Cameron made (at that time) the world’s most expensive film ($200 million) and highest grossing—well over $2 billion. The producer-run Academy most certainly could not fail to recognize that financial landmark.
What’s notable then as now is the song “My Heart Will Go On” (and Céline Dion’s fine rendering) as well as the “down with the ship” string quartet’s fulfilling their obligations (ironically stanzas of “Nearer My God to Me”)—full bow (not nautical “bow”). Kathy Bates lights up the screen as Molly Brown (unsinkable?) with every appearance. The forbidden lovers (hello Shakespeare) Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio (whose career certainly lifted as the majestic ship ripped in half and sunk) largely carry the action, such as it is.
Cameron’s attempt at framing the horrifying tragedy around class-fuelled romance seems decidedly off and opportunistic in the present day where honesty and true love are continuously “Trumped” by systemic liars, cheats and bullies. JWR