Best Picture Reviews: Titanic

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Here we go. James Cameron’s Titanic. An extremely divisive film, to put it mildly. It is, after all, a 3 1/2 hour-long epic. And I’m always complaining about movies that are longer than necessary. So, how do I put this?

I LOVED THIS MOVIE!!!

I am fully aware of the fact that this movie has received quite a backlash since its initial release in 1997. But I remain one of the few people who still believes it is a masterpiece. Now keep in mind, this film is the only Best Picture that I saw prior to starting the Best Picture quest. I watched it again for the quest, but not only that. I was eager to watch it again. And I’m eager to watch it many times in my future.

I’m not sure exactly what this film does for me that so many films failed to do. But I do know that instead of spending 3 1/2 hours in front of a television waiting for a movie to end, I was captivated, and transported into the world created by James Cameron.

The film is like a time machine. After spending a while in present day, a viewer is sent back to the Titanic’s voyage to admire the sheer magnitude of the ship and spend time with Jack and Rose, in a love story that I happen to enjoy. But once the ship hits the iceberg, then the movie really gets going. In what feels like real time, we, the audience, are helpless to do anything but watch as the ship goes under and people die. In the end, we narrowly escape but not without some serious tears being shed.

Some might say that the film isn’t entirely historically accurate. But in a film like this, what’s important is not getting every single detail of the ship and the sinking exactly right. What’s important is that the emotion felt throughout the film is the same emotion that a real-life Titanic passenger might have felt on that fateful night. And that emotion is the number one thing that makes this movie succeed.

And even if you allow yourself to break the illusion for a moment, the technical quality of the film simply cannot be denied. What Cameron had to do to faithfully recreate both the ship and the sinking is truly extraordinary to behold. The production design, the costume design, the sound design, and that unforgettable music!

Now, don’t get me wrong. Deep down, I know that the film has problems. I know the acting and writing aren’t the best. But I don’t care. This is a 3 1/2 hour movie that had me completely invested all the way through. It was an emotional experience that I won’t be forgetting any time soon. If you don’t see the film the same way, I understand, but I absolutely loved this film.

*****

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