Katherine and I are watching the Academy Award-winning movies in chronological order, beginning with Midnight Cowboy in 1969. Yesterday evening, we completed our viewing of Titanic (1997), which I had never seen. (The movie is so long—three hours, 14 minutes—that it took two nights.)
Not knowing much about the Titanic or its famous demise, I assume that the script hewed closely to the known facts. Is there any evidence of a romance such as that depicted between the characters played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet? I don't know. Probably not. So what we have here is an historical novel of the sort Gore Vidal would write. I don't like it when people take liberties with history. Describe or depict what we know and let the reader or viewer imagine the details. I don't need some hack writer trying to stimulate my imagination.
I'm pretty sure I had never seen DiCaprio in a movie. I know who he is, obviously, but I had no idea how good an actor he is. I was impressed. His acting seemed natural and credible, and his character, for what it's worth, likable. Why Winslet was chosen for this role is a puzzle. She's not attractive (by conventional standards) and she's not a particularly good actress.
The ending bothered me greatly, even if it's fictionalized. The old woman who survived the sinking threw an expensive diamond pendant into the ocean, presumably to symbolize her lost love. (The DiCaprio character died in the sinking.) The pendant should have been sold and the proceeds donated to the needy. The more I think of this act of self-indulgence, the more infuriated I get. Yes, I realize that it's a dramatization, but it could have happened, and if it did, it would be gravely immoral.
All in all, I enjoyed the movie.
Here is the trailer.