By Sharon Hardee Jimenez, Senior Film Reviewer Latino Weekly Review
TITANTIC 3 D – Frances Fisher’s role as Ruth DeWitt Buckater mother of our Titanic heroine Rose DeWitt Buckater – Dawson) deserved a 3 D treatment as much as the action packed story.
2012 is the perfect timing for Hollywood’s release of Titanic the movie in 3D. Ironically, the timing is perfect not only because Titanic sunk a hundred years ago, but, because women seem to be sinking in Hollywood in this presidential election year. Ruth DeWitt Buckater (Frances Fisher) character is timelessly written and powerfully performed as 3D brings movie goers even closer to the volatile relationship between the mother and her daughter Rose DeWitt Buckater (Kate Winslet).
Women need to come back to Titanic this year. As we join this journey of American women of English descent in this empowering screenplay by James Cameron we should take note of the four hundred year anniversary of the birth of America’s first poet Anne Bradstreet. Yes, three hundred years before Titanic set sail Bradstreet was born in Northampton to a Puritan family persecuted for their religious beliefs. It’s hard to believe the director/screenwriter who shocked even Hollywood by proclaiming at the Oscars he was “King of the World” didn’t know that Anne Bradstreet was also 17 years old (just as Rose) when she boarded the Arbella with her Puritan father and husband Thomas Dudley and Simon Bradstreet who would later found Harvard College and govern Massachusetts. The voyage to America must have been as frightening for Bradstreet as it was for Cameron’s fictitious character Rose three hundred years later.
Titanic in 3 D displays Fisher’s portrayal as Rose’s mother all the more vividly now as she tightens her daughter Rose’s corsets telling her she must bear the burden of marrying a man she doesn’t love to save the family’s good name and keep both mother and daughter from becoming destitute. American women can feel the power of each tug of the mother’s hands pulling too tightly the bindings which kept her waist slender and appealing. In the 15 years since Titanic’s blockbuster release casting agents and producers propelled by Hollywood’s appalling standards has done its own tugging at women’s waistlines encouraging eating disorders in the same suicidal behavior Rose displayed as her desperation leads her to consider jumping from off the back of the Titanic. Now networks owned jointly by movie studios carry debates between presidential candidates determined to turn back the clock on women’s rights four hundred years after Anne Bradstreet’s first poetry was published in London as “The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, by a Gentlewoman of those Parts.” The publication was given a long and convoluted title so the poetry did not offend men who objected to women being published writers.
As Titanic 3 D’s pulls us back into movie theaters we are reminded of the tragic loss of power Ruth De Witt Bukater (Frances Fisher) surrenders to as she boards the life boat demanding her daughter join her in fleeing the sinking ship. “Get in the boat Rose!” Ruth (Fisher) commands her frightened daughter as Rose (Winslet) struggles to find the courage to make decisions on her own. Rose won’t budge. She has found the courage her mother has given over to authority.
In 2012 women should go back to see Titanic in 3 D. Maybe experiencing the surrender of Ruth (Fisher) to the fear of failure will empower women to become stronger in Hollywood where they seem to be conceding positions fought for in the four centuries since Anne Bradstreet set sail for America with a poets heart and a woman’s strength to stand up for her family in the wilderness of the New World.
Has anyone seen the Rose of the movie Titanic in Hollywood lately? Did she perish on the sinking ship fifteen years ago when Titanic was first released? In 2012 even with women empowered by greater educational opportunities and employment it seems we are more like Ruth than her daughter Rose. Poor Ruth is without redemption as she watches hopelessly when Titanic splits in half in the 3 D version of this wonderful film. With the aid of 3D technology we can be in the boat with Ruth as one of the most tragic figures in cinema history. Frances Fisher should have won a best supporting actress role for this part in the great movie. We wonder if the ‘Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ might reassess the snub of Fisher and nominate her for the 3D version of Titanic. Frances Fisher has served on the National Board of the Screen Actors Guild of America. Sharing the screen in Titanic with Gloria Stuart (older Ruth) and Kathy Bates (Molly Brown) was an extraordinary bit of casting for Cameron’s tale. Three of Hollywood’s greatest actors sharing the screen and supporting the work of relative new comer at the time Kate Winslet (Rose). Titanic is referred to throughout the movie as a ‘she’ in the feminine gender.
The poetry of Anne Bradstreet is timeless like the screenplay of Titanic. On the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the first great luxury ocean liner this reviewer hopes women will pick up Bradstreet’s poetry and recognize the power of the love of America (the New World) that Bradstreet brought back to Europe when she boldly boarded her Puritan ‘boat’ to America in the mid 1600’s when there were no luxury liners and few ways to connect with the world in the wilderness of her times. The love poem Anne Bradstreet wrote to her husband is one Rose might have written to Jack Dawson. http://www.thedatingadvisor.com/love-poem-to-my-dear-and-loving-husband.html
Sharon Hardee Jimenez, Senior Film Reviewer Latino Weekly Review, is a descendant of poet Anne Bradstreet through her great grandmother Annie Isabel Douglass Broward first Lady of Florida (1906-1910) a feminist who insisted men stand up when she walked into a room.