Feature Blogs

Standing Up For Titanic

Created on Tuesday, 19 October 2004 21:00
Written by Matthew Toomey



An amazing film.

My favourite of 1997 (in what was a very good year).

My 2nd top film since I started reviewing in 1996 (behind Billy Elliot).

Winner of the most Oscars of all time (11) and nominated for more Oscars than any film in history (14).

Winner of best picture at the Oscars and the Golden Globes.

The highest grossing picture in U.S. history with $600.8m (with Star Wars a distant 2nd with $461m).

The highest grossing picture in international history with $1.835b (with only one other film to make $1b being The Return Of The King).

Top of the U.S. box-office charts for an amazing 13 consecutive weeks. No film has been atop for more than 4 weeks since.


Back in December 1997, Titanic was the be all and end all. Crowds flocked to see it like no film in history. It made a staggering $600m which was considered impossible. No other film had ever cracked the $500m barrier and none have since. Just look at those international figures! Only 5 other films in the history of filmmaking have even made 50% of what Titanic made (those being The Return Of The King, Harry Potter, The Phantom Menace, The Two Towers and Jurassic Park).


I hadn’t seen the film in a while but caught it a couple of weeks ago on Channel 7. I watched it and thought it was just as brilliant as when I first saw it. The visuals are amazing, the acting and romance brilliant, the dialogue beautiful and the ending perfect. I feel as strongly about the film today as I did when I first saw it at a sneak screening back in 1997. I remember the first time I saw it, I was so engrossed, I didn’t even finish my coke! (and that’s saying something).


When then, has the public soured on Titanic? I see it as a case of tall poppy syndrome. When a film is as successful as it has been, critics are always more outspoken. Just look at the Internet Movie Database for the perfect example. Some 81,732 members of the public have voted on a scale of 1 to 10 with the average score being 6.9. How can this be? The most popular film in cinema history can only score a 6.9???


Looking closely at the breakdown of the score reveals something. 10.6% gave the film a score of 1. In others words, one in every 10 voters think that the film deserves the lowest rating possible. Oh, come on! What a load of garbage. Something tells me that these viewers didn’t think it was a 1 when they first saw it.


History will judge this film better in a few decades time. Once all the negativity has subsided, the public will again realize how incredible the film is and how ahead of its time it was. My opinion though will never change. It was, and always will be an A+.


On a small note, let me add how much I liked the films of 1997. If you’re looking for something at your video store in the weekly section, check out The Ice Storm, The People Vs. Larry Flynt, Marvin’s Room, Breaking The Waves, Face/Off, L.A. Confidential, The English Patient, Mother or My Best Friend’s Wedding.