As the 2018 Oscars draw near, we’re tempted to look back at ceremonies from awards seasons past. A deep-dive into Academy Award history would be incomplete without a visit to one of the most referenced movies of all time: Titanic.
The romantic drama that shaped a generation didn’t just prove itself a box office champion when it opened more than 20 years ago—it was also a bona fide awards magnet.
After cleaning up at the Golden Globes, the 1997 classic went on to earn 14 Oscar nominations at the 1998 Academy Awards. In fact, Titanic’s Oscar trove tied the record for most nominations, alongside All About Eve (1950) and Ben-Hur (1959), as did La La Land in 2016.
Out of the 14, James Cameron’s period piece won a whopping 11 Oscars, including the great honor of Best Picture. That tied the record for most wins alongside Ben-Hur (1959) and in 2003 Lord of the Rings: Return of the King also took home the same number of awards.
Although it may seem nearly every category included a Titanic nomination, the film’s male lead, Leonardo DiCaprio, was not nominated for his performance. However, this was not beginning (nor the end) of the actor’s dealings with the Academy. He was first nominated in 1994 for his supporting role in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, and in the years since went on to receive another four nominations, and, finally, an Oscar of his own in 2016 for The Revenant.
In addition to Best Picture, Titanic took home the Oscar for Best Director (James Cameron), Best Original Music Score, Best Music – Song, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Visual Effects, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing.
The three categories in which the film was nominated but did not take home an award were Best Actress (Kate Winslet), Best Supporting Actress (Gloria Stuart), and Best Makeup.
Though not quite as tense as DiCaprio’s journey to Oscar gold, it would also be several years before Winslet claimed the Best Actress trophy. Two years before Titanic, Kate was nominated for her performance in Sense and Sensibility (1996). After Titanic, the British actress was nominated for Iris (2002), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), and Little Children (2007), before finally winning an Oscar for her performance in The Reader (2009). Winslet received yet another nomination in 2016 for Steve Jobs.
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Cameron, who won three Oscars for Titanic (he shared the awards for Best Picture and Best Film Editing), was later nominated for the same three categories with 2010’s dimension-defying Avatar. Although the film was nominated for nine Oscars and took home three, Cameron’s categories were not among the winners.