Six Picks for the Weeks of December 20 - January 2

Because of the holidays, this week's 6 Picks covers a two-week period. We will resume our regular weekly 6 Picks schedule on Sunday, January 9, 2011 after a brief hiatus.

True Grit (Dec. 22)

ImageThe dark horse

The Coen brothers return to the western after directing a more modern-day take on the genre with their Academy Award-winning No Country for Old Men. True Grit, opening Friday, is a new adaptation (a 1969 version featured John Wayne in an Academy Award-winning performance) of the 1968 novel by Charles Portis. Jeff Bridges stars as alcoholic marshal “Rooster” Cogburn, Matt Damon is Texas Ranger La Boeuf (no relation to Shia), and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld -- an early awards season favorite -- reportedly steals the show as Mattie Ross, a young girl who’s out to avenge her father’s death.

Get gritty at the official website.

Somewhere (Dec. 22)

ImageLost in translation thought

We should be a lot more excited about either a new Sofia Coppola movie or a new film that’s not a remake, sequel, or reboot. Though Somewhere is both, the film looks a lot like a less interesting Lost in Translation. Opening Wednesday in limited release, the new film stars Stephen Dorff (Public Enemies) as a washed-up, bad-boy actor holed up in famed Los Angeles hotel Chateau Marmont, where he gets an unexpected visit from his 11-year-old daughter, played by Elle Fanning. Though early reviews are mixed, it did win the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival and will probably have a great soundtrack, what with Phoenix providing the score.

Get lost in an expensive hotel at the official website.

Free album The Fall by Gorillaz (Dec. 25)

Image There's an app for that?

Following their strong third album and awesome one-off single “Doncamatic,” featuring Daley, Gorillaz are directing Santa Claus to the Plastic Beach this Christmas. The band is currently releasing freebies everyday as a part of their online Advent calendar, and, on Christmas day, a complete new album called The Fall will apparently be given away at Gorillaz mastermind Damon Albarn apparently put the album together on his iPad while the band was on tour over the past few months. Whether or not the album will be given away for free to non-Sub Division fan club members remains to be seen.

Cross your fingers for a Little Dragon appearance at the official website.

Blue Valentine (Dec. 31)

ImageMaybe an Oscar nomination will cheer her up

Indie drama Blue Valentine is finally arriving in limited release on New Year's Eve on the heels of a major MPAA victory; the infamous organization initially rated the film NC-17 but scaled back to an R after the filmmakers appealed the rating. The film follows a married couple -- Dean, played by Ryan Gosling (Lars and the Real Girl), and Cindy played by Michelle Williams (Shutter Island) -- through different periods of their relationship and varying degrees of happiness and unhappiness. The critically acclaimed film also contains a score from similarly acclaimed Brooklynites Grizzly Bear.

Romance is also truly gritty at the official website.

Little Fockers (Dec. 22)

ImageWould you believe the guy on the right is an Oscar winner?

‘Tis the season for sequels. Little Fockers, the second sequel in the Meet the Parents franchise, opens Wednesday and stars usual suspects Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Barbara Streisand, and Dustin Hoffman. Director Paul Weitz (Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant) takes over for series mainstay Jay Roach and adds Jessica Alba, Laura Dern, and Harvey Keitel to the cast. Owen Wilson (very funny in the original) returns to cause tension between Stiller’s Gaylord Focker and wife Pam (Teri Polo).  

Have a little laughter at the official website.

Launch of OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network (Jan. 1)

ImageHer own network

On Saturday, January 1st, one-woman media empire Oprah Winfrey will leave syndication (where she’s ruled for the past 25 years) and join the vast basic cable community when she launches her new OWN channel where the Discovery Health channel used to be. The network's launch lineup includes Ask Oprah’s All Stars with Dr. Oz, Suze Orman, and Dr. Phil, plus cooking show Cristina Ferrare’s Big Bowl of Love, while Oprah’s BFF even gets The Gayle King Show. Lisa Ling and Rosie O’Donnell will have shows coming up later in 2011.

Crave sweet potatoes at the official website.

Closing the book on last week

Weekend Box Office Champion (Estimated, U.S. only; source:
Tron Legacy 49 $43.6 million; 1st week at #1
#1 Album on Billboard 200 (Source: SoundScan)
Susan Boyle: The Gift 59 4th week (2nd consecutive) at #1
Top-Rated Primetime Broadcast Show (Source: Nielsen)
Sunday Night Football (Eagles/Cowboys) (NBC) 25.7m viewers; week of 12/6 -12/12

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Comments (5)

  • Justin Smoak  

    This obviously won't make it onto dvd release dates 2010 or anything but 2010 DVD releases are impressive...or at least the ones I found here

  • Joseph  

    I saw a preview screening of True Grit last week. It's as every bit as good as the trailers make it look. Although I haven't read the book or seen the original film yet, I can safely say this is still a fantastic, well-made movie. I personally would nominate Hailee Steinfeld and Matt Damon (in one of his most amusing roles.) Looking forward to Blue Valentine and Somewhere (although my interest is starting to wane on the latter.)

  • Mike W  

    Blue Valentine was the best film at Sundance in January, i am so excited to watch this again, yes it is punishing but worthwhile and humane and true to life and the process of falling in and out of love has never been more real in film before. Everyone must see Blue Valentine, I am also excited for True Grit!!!! Favorite John Wayne film, remade by the Coens with Jeff Bridges, come on this will be amazing

  • Ned B  

    TRUE GRIT. 'nuff said.

  • Mitch Tough  

    I'm fired up for True Grit and Blue Valentine... Should be the last two possible entries into my year-end top 10 list.

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