WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING... on November 12? If it happens to be your birthday, well, happy early birthday, then. (Make that an extra happy birthday: November 12 is a Wednesday in 2014, and Wednesdays might be the best days to have birthdays on, because you can take the party for five days into the weekend. Monday and Tuesday don't nearly have the run-up or execution to deliver on this front.) If it isn't your birthday, you're probably doing what most people are: Wondering if it is too late to finish the growing-staler Halloween candy, the toffee that still sits in a bowl by the door. Or perhaps you're planning Thanksgiving dinner, and trying to juggle multiple stops and households and friends' feelings (sooo many friends' feelings, as you well know, if you've ever enjoyed a five-day Wednesday-starter birthday celebration). But wouldn't you rather spend November 12 -- and the handful of days following it -- sitting in a theater, downing big fist scoops of buttery popcorn, watching films that may go into contention for the major awards? And drinking wine afterwards? With fabulous film-loving people? Yes. You want this, November 12 wants this, everyone wants this. And lookie here: That happens to be night one of the Napa Valley Film Festival.
WE KNOW, WE KNOW... that that's a ways off, at least from this typing. But if you know you'll go, come the autumn, because wine + movies=good, then jump on a discount deal that's just wrapping up: a festival pass for $205. Can't slip under the wire by March 31? The Spring Sale comes next, and it is all righty, meaning passes are $255 a pop. Consider that they'll be a fiver under $300 come the festival itself, so buying now'll save you a cool few twenties. So, is this on? Are you really going to sit around stressing over Thanksgiving assignments, or are you going to watch terrific films in Napa Valley from Nov. 12 through 16, 2014? Thanksgiving will definitely come, but film and vino is a rarer combo.