BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY
Until he made Avatar, James Cameron’s Titanic was the most lucrative movie ever, which means lots of people must love it. I don’t. It’s spectacular, certainly, but until the ship starts to sink (oh dear, I think I’ve given away the ending) the storyline is totally banal, centring on an improbable romance between well-to-do passenger Kate Winslet and working-class emigrant Leonardo DiCaprio. They’re both a lot better than Cameron’s screenplay gives them any right to be. The second half of the film is admittedly gripping as we discover what happened to the protagonists, but even here Cameron missed a trick. While the Titanic went down another liner, the Californian, was moored a few miles away and could have rescued many more passengers had it not ignored the SOS radio messages and distress rockets. Cameron doesn’t mention that. A better, more moving account of the Titanic’s fate is told in Roy Baker’s modest but excellent British film, A Night to Remember.
I Know What You Did Last Summer ★★★
A group of teens think they’ve got away with covering up an accident when a hook-wielding fisherman starts taking revenge. Don’t you hate it when that happens?
Blackly comic zombie fun, with Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Abigail Breslin and Emma Stone blasting their way across America in a post-apocalyptic world over-run with the shuffling undead.
Forget the sequel, Ben Stiller’s original 2001 satire on the fashion industry balances broad laughs with insider stabs and has a raft of fun cameos (including David Bowie, Karl Lagerfeld and Victoria Beckham).
Wild Child ★★★
Emma (niece of Julia) Roberts is the spoilt Californian princess under heavy manners at a posh British public school in this entirely unoriginal though super-likeable comedy.
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