. . . and American Sniper, from the Hollywood Reporter:
What did you think of American Sniper?It's Clint's best work as a director. By far. For all the reasons that people like it. I don't think other directors, including myself, could have gotten the same result given the same resources. Clint got an extraordinary result because he is an extraordinary man. There's no pretension about him. He could be Bradley Cooper, he could be the character. Clint inspired Bradley by virtue of who he is, a principled guy. Clint has remained my friend for over 40 years.
How does Sniper compare with The Deer Hunter?It's not, in my view, much like Deer Hunter. Though it was characterized [as such], Sniper's not a political movie. It's not about the rightness or wrongness of the war. It deals with the impact of trauma on people who go to war and people who stay behind.
More of the interview here.