Leonardo DiCaprio’s Hollywood career is marked by huge success after huge success. He’s been in movies like The Departed, Inception, and The Wolf of Wall Street. No matter how many huge successes his career sees, fans will always remember one of his earliest hits: Titanic. The 1997 blockbuster saw Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack alongside Kate Winslet’s Rose in a romantic and tragic James Cameron classic. The film isn’t often easy to access via streaming, so audiences are flocking to Netflix to check out the movie while they can, driving the movie up the streaming charts.
Titanic is a fictional story set against the backdrop of a real-world event: the sinking of the ship in 1912. While the Leonardo DiCaprio movie is known as a romantic film, it’s also technically a disaster movie. When audiences start streaming Titanic, they know how it’s going to end. The ship will sink. This adds a touch of dark comedy as Rose (Kate Winslet) meets many of the characters on board who built the ship and brag about how it’s unsinkable. It also adds an ominous tone as she walks the ship and counts off how many lifeboats there are (not enough). If audiences were somehow unaware that the ship sinks in the end, the movie starts off letting them know.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet may be the stars of the film, but the first several scenes focus on a crew of modern-day explorers. Bill Paxton plays Brock Lovett. The movie opens up with him and his crew on a mission to explore the sunken ship. While they are portraying themselves as scientists bringing the realities of the past to light, they’re actually looking to find a very famous and very expensive diamond. Insurance records show the diamond going down with the ship and they are determined to find it. When Bill Paxton’s team opens a long-lost safe that they’ve found among the ship’s remains at the bottom of the sea, they expect the diamond to be waiting for them. Instead, they find a drawing of a naked Kate Winslet wearing the gem.
Gloria Stuart plays “Old Rose”. Bill Paxton’s team do interviews on television showing off the drawing and talking about their expedition. Old Rose sees this report and says, “I’ll be God damned.” She then calls Bill Paxton on the phone. He is short and impatient with her, talking to her in a condescending tone since she’s an older woman. That’s when she says, “I was just wondering if you had found the ‘Heart of the Ocean’ yet, Mr. Lovett.” This statement grabs his attention right away. She knows exactly what he’s looking for. This leads to him having her come to the ship to tell her story, and that’s where the movie gets into things with Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, and the rest.
As Old Rose tells her story to the team, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio fall in love on screen. As their love story unfolds, audiences learn about the different classes on the ship, the way politics work on board, the situation Kate Winslet is in as she is being forced into a marriage she doesn’t want, and all the little details that lead to the ship sinking.
Titanic made waves. The early Leonardo DiCaprio film was famously nominated for 14 Oscars and won 11 of them. Moreover, there was the box office success. Titanic had a staggering budget of $200 million. That is a budget that should make any studio nervous. They gambled big and won big, though. Titanic had box office earnings of over $2.2 billion worldwide.
No matter how many movies Leonardo DiCaprio does, he’ll always be asked about the door in Titanic. His character’s final scene in the movie is tragic, heartbreaking, and still has fans upset about it today. It’s rare for movies to still be referenced as often as Titanic is. For Leonardo DiCaprio, that may be both a blessing and a curse. Somehow, his heart will go on.
As Titanic climbs the charts on Netflix, Leonardo DiCaprio is currently preparing for his next movie to launch on the streaming service. He stars opposite Jennifer Lawrence in Don’t Look Up, a dark comedy from director Adam McKay. After that, audiences will see him team up with Robert De Niro, John Lithgow, and Brendan Fraser in Killers of the Flower Moon.