A lush and terrifying spectacle of romantic doom. Writer-director James Cameron has restaged the defining catastrophe of the early 20th century on a human scale of such purified yearning and dread that he touches the deepest levels of popular moviemaking. The love story between Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio), a vagabond artist, and Rose (Kate Winslet), a milky-pale Philadelphia debutante with a snobby-effete fiancé (Billy Zane), is played quite consciously as a young romance, and DiCaprio and Winslet develop a touching, sweet-souled chemistry. The Titanic itself becomes a kind of floating version of the 19th century; once it hits that iceberg, we re suffused with a cathartic tumult of emotion. By the time that Jack and Rose are floating in the icy sea, the film has come face-to- face with annihilation itself. Yet it s at that moment that their love glows brightest. Titanic floods you with elemental passion in a way that invites comparison with the original movie spectacles of D.W. Griffith.