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"Titanic 3D" Sinks or Swims on the Charisma of Its Young Stars

Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jack Dawson and Danny Nucci plays Fabrizio in Titanic 3D.
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox

A historical romance with a then-unheard-of price tag, James Cameron's 1997 Titanic was the nearest thing to a Gone With the Wind-style cinematic event that the millennials could call their own. Now Titanic has bobbed to the surface yet again in a 3-D re-release, making a play for an audience that its original viewers baby-sat. Rewatching the affair between Kate Winslet's rebellious haute-monde refugee, Rose, and Leonardo DiCaprio's free-spirited steerage passenger, Jack, it's hard to find a line that might resonate across generations like a "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." But the enormous success of Titanic didn't come through originality; it came from punching clichés across with a seldom-seen directness and sincerity that seemed pure of heart, old-fashioned, or plain corny, depending on your perspective. CGI spectacle doesn't age gracefully, not even with a 3-D facelift, so today, Titanic must float or sink on the enduring charisma of its young stars.


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