Yesterday Deadline‘s Pete Hammond quoted producer Irwin Winkler saying that Martin Scorsese‘s Silence (Paramount, 12.23) is “Marty’s best movie.” Okay, fine, but what else is he going to say? “This is one of Marty’s better films…maybe not his best but definitely one of his standouts”? Or “trust me, this one out-Kundun‘s Kundun!”

Hammond allows that Winkler “is high on the film because he produced it, but [he] also produced Scorsese classics Raging Bull and Goodfellas, so this kind of praise is not to be taken lightly.” Except the exalted reputations of Raging Bull and Goodfellas are carved in stone while Silence‘s rep is yet to be determined. Winkler loses nothing at all by calling it a better film than the other two.

Winkler also told Hammond that Silence‘s running time is down to 2 hours and 39 minutes, or over 20 minutes shorter than that three-hour-plus cut everyone wrote about last August.