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Sonoma International Film Festival Day Two: More Food, Films and Wine!

Photo of Meredith Brody By Meredith Brody | Thompson on Hollywood April 12, 2013 at 6:30PM

It doesn't take much to make me happy: just a perfect Northern California spring day, five movies playing in eclectic venues within easy walking distance of a historic town square, and a festive and fancy free dinner (with wine) thrown in.
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The Hunt
Mads Mikkelsen in 'The Hunt'

I forgo the free pasta to go see "A Year in Burgundy," pure wine-food-and-travel porn by BBC doc veteran David Kennard, now resident in Mill Valley, who follows famed wine importer Martine Saunier on her frequent visits over the course of the 2011 vintage to colorful family vintners along the 80-mile Burgundy region of France. They include a fourth-generation vintner whose piano-playing supplies much of the score for the film, and the indefatigable, irrepressible grande dame Lalou Bize-Leroy of Domaine Leroy, who wants to "cut out all the cides…herbicide, pesticide, fungicide…which sound like homicide!"

Several multi-course meals (with the appropriate white or red burgundy for each course), lovingly shown in the film, inflame me sufficiently that I rush over to the fancy dinner that sponsor Netflix is throwing for its 200 staffers that are attending the festival. I've missed the first course, but I'm in time for the second: rosy roast pork with a fruit relish, a cheesy potato gratin, and a lot of really lovely roasted vegetables.

I leave just as a rich multi-layered cake is being served, in search of a cup of coffee to keep me awake through the late-night (i.e., 9 p.m.) screening of Thomas Vinterberg's "The Hunt," which I have managed to miss at every festival I've been at since last Labor Day.

By now I pretty much know what the movie is about, but it's still got its surprises, and curly-lipped Mads Mikkelsen, shiny-skinned, shiny-haired, seems to carry his own key light with him. I slightly regret deleting "Hannibal" unwatched from my DVR just before driving up to Sonoma -- but perk up when I remember I can watch it on nbc.com.  You can't miss a thing, these days!

This article is related to: Festivals, Sonoma International Film Festival, The Hunt, Thomas Vinterberg, Caught in the Web


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.