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'Titanic' cruises into Oscars lead

Oscar nominees announcement
Robert Rehme, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and former Academy Award winner Geena Davis announce the nominations   
February 10, 1998
Web posted at: 11:27 a.m. EST (1627 GMT)

BEVERLY HILLS, California (CNN) -- "Titanic" moved its relentless drive into the Oscars race Tuesday morning, leading the nominations for the 70th Annual Academy Awards with 14, tying the all-time record set by "All About Eve."

The film itself is up for best picture and several technical awards, with James Cameron for best director, Kate Winslet for best actress and Gloria Stuart for supporting actress, marking the first time in history that two performers were nominated for playing the same person in the same film.

Stuart, 87, a star in the '30s who had all but retired from films a half-century ago, becomes the oldest performer nominated for an acting award, the Academy said.

Watch the nominations
icon 4 min. VXtreme streaming video

In contrast to last year's nominations, most of them small-budget independent films, the big studios returned to the game this year.

"Titanic's" competition for best picture honors include its top critical rival, "L.A. Confidential," "As Good As It Gets," "Good Will Hunting" and a film most industry-watchers had considered a long shot, the British comedy "The Full Monty."

The nomination of relative newcomer Matt Damon as best actor in "Good Will Hunting" put him among a group of veterans up for the award, including Dustin Hoffman for the political satire "Wag the Dog," Robert Duvall for his self-directed film, "The Apostle," and one of the most predicted nominations, Peter Fonda for "Ulee's Gold."

Nicholson passes Olivier

Jack Nicholson also was nominated for best actor for his role in "As Good As It Gets," a nomination which put him in the record books. With 11 career nominations (he's won twice), he is the most-nominated male performer in Oscars history, passing the record set by Sir Laurence Olivier.

The best actress field includes one American -- Helen Hunt, who played opposite Nicholson in "As Good As It Gets" -- and four English actresses -- Judi Dench for "(Her Majesty) Mrs. Brown," Helena Bonham Carter for "The Wings of the Dove," "Titanic's" Kate Winslet, and Julie Christie for "Afterglow."

It was Christie's second nomination since winning the Oscar for "Darling" 32 years ago. She was also nominated in 1971 for "McCabe and Mrs. Miller."

Comeback kids, fresh faces mingle on list

Scene from 'Titanic'
'Titanic'   

Several supporting actors also made Oscars comebacks, including Robert Forster for "Jackie Brown," and Burt Reynolds for "Boogie Nights." Other supporting actor nominations included Greg Kinnear ("As Good As It Gets"), Anthony Hopkins ("Amistad") and Robin Williams ("Good Will Hunting").

On the supporting actress side, Gloria Stuart faces Kim Basinger ("L.A. Confidential"), Joan Cusack ("In and Out"), Minnie Driver ("Good Will Hunting"), and Julianne Moore ("Boogie Nights"). None of this year's acting nominees are repeats from last year.

And every director on the best director's list is a first-time nominee, including "Titanic's" Cameron, Gus Van Sant ("Good Will Hunting"), Atom Egoyan ("The Sweet Hereafter"), Curtis Hanson ("L.A. Confidential"), and Peter Cattaneo ("The Full Monty").

Basinger in 'L.A. Confidential'
'L.A. Confidential'   

The script by actors Damon and Ben Affleck for "Good Will Hunting" was named in the original screenplay competition. The other nominees were scripts for "As Good As It Gets," "Boogie Nights," "The Full Monty" and Woody Allen's "Deconstructing Harry."

The adapted screenplay nominees were "Donnie Brasco," "L.A. Confidential," Egoyan's "The Sweet Hereafter," "The Wings of the Dove" and "Wag the Dog," the timely story about a presidential sex scandal.

With international journalists and Hollywood's biggest stars looking on, Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis announced the nominations before dawn on Monday, kicking the Oscars race into full gallop. The finish line is the Academy Awards gala on March 23.

Correspondents Dennis Michael, Paul Vercammen and Sherri Sylvester contributed to this report.

 
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