In 2002, Scorsese released the epic drama Gangs of New York. Part period piece and part homage to the bloody history of the city he loves, the film was about the violent clashes between nativists and immigrants in the 19th century. It marked his first time working with actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who would soon become the DeNiro of Scorsese's new millennium. The pair worked together again on 2004's The Aviator, a splashy, epic biopic about the eccentric millionaire Howard Hughes. The film was a hit and Scorsese was nominated for his sixth Best Director Oscar. Though Cate Blanchett took home a statue for her dead-on portrayal of Katherine Hepburn, Scorsese lost. Again.
In 2006, Scorsese released The Departed, a suspenseful, action-filled drama about the Irish mafia in Boston. It starred DiCaprio as a tormented undercover cop and Jack Nicholson as the terrifying Mob boss. Critics called it one of Scorsese's best films since Raging Bull. At the Oscar ceremony on 25 February 2007, directors Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas stepped to the microphone to present the Best Director Oscar - to their old friend, Marty Scorsese. It was his seventh nomination and first win. "Could you double-check the envelope?"