Nicholson, Hunt win 'Titanic' still at sea

Oscars: Early upsets trim expectations for what has become the highest-grossing movie ever.

March 24, 1998|By Ann Hornaday | Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC

"Titanic," James Cameron's $200 million epic about the 1912 sea disaster, was well on its way to tying "Ben-Hur" for winning the most Oscars in history three-quarters of the way through the 70th annual Academy Awards ceremony last night.

As the event was winding down, the blockbuster, which last summer was rumored to be a flop in the making, had won Oscars for costumes, sound, sound-effects editing, visual effects, original dramatic score, film editing, original song and art direction.

But the evening's first upset was in a category "Titanic" had been presumed sure to win. Gloria Stuart, the 87-year-old actress who portrayed a survivor of the shipwreck, had been widely favored to win the Oscar for best supporting actress. But the award instead went to longshot Kim Basinger for her portrayal of a beautiful prostitute in the 1950s mystery "L.A. Confidential." And Kate Winslet, who played a doomed lover in "Titanic," lost to Helen Hunt for her performance in "As Good As It Gets."

"Titanic" also was passed up for makeup; the Oscar in that category went to the team that created the creatures for the science fiction comedy "Men In Black."

"Titanic's" 14 nominations tied the record set by the 1950 film "All About Eve." When "Titanic" lost its third award, it clearly was not going to beat "Ben-Hur" for the record. But all it had to do was take the statuette for cinematography, director and best picture to tie with eleven awards.

Jack Nicholson won the Oscar for best actor for his role in "As Good As It Gets."

Pub Date: 3/24/98

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