Napa Valley Film Fest: 2015 Line-Up Revealed

Popcorn and pinot are in your immediate future, movie mavens.

TASTING ROOM DEBATES: If you've ever spent any time standing next to the drink 'n discuss bar inside a winery's tasting room, you know that it's a spot where the art of gentle debate is in full flower. You and your friend may disagree on the fullness of the cabernet you're both sipping, with your friend landing on the side of "too spicy" and you landing on the side of "just right." It's par for the cork-topped course, in short, for tasting rooms to get, on occasion, lively discussion. But those lively discussions take on a different flavor come the the middle of November, at least around Napa Valley, when the back-and-forth isn't about the wines but, rather, plot lines. The centerpoint of autumn around the valley is all about the Napa Valley Film Festival, a starry affair that lasts the better part of a week and features a host of food and vino experts (who are stars in their own rights, alongside the Hollywood celebs who make the scene). The dates of the 2015 run are Wednesday, Nov. 11 through Sunday, Nov. 15, and the full line-up, which was just announced on the first day of October, is a plum one. Look for possible Oscar contenders and indie sweethearts among the...

125 FILMS... dotting the roster. "Carol" with Cate Blanchett, and directed by Todd Haynes, is on the list, as is Morgan Spurlock's short "Crafted" and Atom Egoyan's "Remember" (look for Christopher Plummer in the lead). But what will be on the big screens from Napa to Yountville and beyond is the only topic attendees will discuss during the lively week. Some 150 wineries will be represented and over two dozen chefs. More than most film festivals -- and dare we say, more than all -- NVFF gives equal love to both the proverbial popcorn bucket and to the wine glass, too. It feels right, since a meal before or after a movie is pretty traditional in most places. Complementing the food, wine, and film scene are a host of special happenings, from celebrity tributes to dance parties. This should be plenty of film-fun fodder for you and your friend to bicker about, in good humor, at the next tasting bar you visit. Not saying that you can't argue over whether the merlot is too mellow or not, but discussing, and disagreeing, about movies is a time-honored American pastime.

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