The year began with one film sweeping the critics awards. LA Confidential was the film that won Boston, the Critics Choice, Los Angeles, National Board of Review, National Society of Film Critics, New York, and the WGA. But it did not win the DGA (Cameron, Titanic) and it didn’t win the Golden Globe, or the Editors Guild (Titanic, Titanic). So it was fairly clear to most how the Oscars would go that night. Closing in was Jim Brooks’ As Good As it Gets, which would take both Actor and Actress.
Titanic would win virtually everything that night, joining Ben-Hur (and before Return of the King did it), winning the most Oscars any film ever has, 11. It joins All About Eve being the highest ever nominated, with 14. It was not only number one at the box office but it remained number one of all time until Avatar topped it.
The power of star dictated that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s Good Will Hunting beat Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights for screenplay (Titanic was not nominated). Greg Kinnear was deserving of Supporting Actor but Robin Williams won instead for Good Will Hunting.
There were many other films released that year that didn’t get anywhere near the Oscar race, like David Lynch’s Lost Highway, David Fincher’s The Game, Martin Scorsese’s Kundun, and Christopher Guest’s comic masterpiece, Waiting for Guffman. But it was Titanic’s year and Titanic’s decade.