Basinger, 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," which had been nominated for a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations at the 70th annual Academy Awards ceremony, was listing but not sinking midway through the proceedings last night.

Gloria Stuart, the 87-year-old actress who portrayed a survivor of the 1912 sea disaster and was widely favored to win the Oscar for best supporting actress, lost in an upset to Kim Basinger ("L.A. Confidential"). And Kate Winslet, who played a doomed lover on the ship, 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."

Still, the $200 million "Titanic" won for costumes, sound-effects editing, visual effects, original dramatic score, original song and film editing. Its 14 nominations tied the record set by the 1950 film "All About Eve."

Most Oscar-watchers assumed that it would give "Ben-Hur," which won the most Oscars in history -- 11 -- a run for its money. In order for that to happen, "Titanic" had to win Oscars in all the five remaining categories.

Although most filmmakers and studios covet Oscars because they mean increased box office and salaries, "Titanic" wasn't laboring under those worries. Having grossed nearly $500 million in its 14 weeks of release, it is already the highest-grossing movie in history.

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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