I think there have been some terrific movies released this year across the board both from studios and from independents.
"Flags of our Fathers" I thought was a terrific movie. "Catch a Fire" ... "Last King of Scotland" ... "Little Miss Sunshine."
"The Queen" I thought was terrific. You've got some wonderful movies out there. "World Trade Center." "Dreamgirls" coming up.
Last year it was more independent. I think this year it's a combination of the two.
It seems like studios are in the game this year.
I think studios are definitely in the game. You need the studios to make the kind of epic big film.
I think "The Departed" (Martin Scorsese's Warner Bros. release) is a terrific movie. That could be a contender. Marty is so overdue I don't even want to talk about it. There's no one more deserving.
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You mentioned you feel you two made the Oscars more democratic. Now that you are independent, are you back to fighting in a guerrilla mode?
No. That was 20 years ago. This is a very good diplomatic time of my life. There's no reason not to get along with folks.
Does it feel a little like the old days? You're on your own now with no corporate parent as you head into the Oscar season?
I feel the freedom of not having somebody saying "don't make the Michael Moore movie" or "don't criticize NBC for not running the Dixie Chicks ad". We're free to make our own way through this world.