Not a huge surprise, but Sydney Pollack, Steven Soderbergh and Anthony Minghella were three good Godfathers on Michael Clayton, according to director-writer Tony Gilroy. “The advice all the way through the preproduction process is all ambassadorial and diplomatic: ‘Can you call this person for me?’ and ‘Have you ever worked with this costume designer before?’ and ‘I didn’t rehearse the that a good idea?’ It’s all that kind of process stuff. To all of their credit, they gave to me what they would all want [as directors]. They gave me absolute autonomy. They gave me final cut. They protected me. They kept everything bad away from me. They created for me, on a small scale, the situation they all would want to have.”