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A Final Flurry From the Undulating Curve of Shifting Expectations!

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Here’s what happens at the end of the year: Oscar-bait films you’ve been hearing raves about for months finally hit the theaters. Top-ten lists send you scurrying off to catch up and, potentially, be let down. In other words, at no other time are more people telling you how much you’ll enjoy things you haven’t yet experienced, thus affecting your ability to enjoy them. (Is Colin Firth really that good? Is Natalie Portman really that skinny?) Perhaps this is all best understood through a seasonal metaphor: The hype is simply wrapping, intended to stoke anticipation. Now you get to open up the presents for yourself.



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