It occurred to me that all the prestige movies that closed out 2010 have to do with great acts of endurance. 127 Hours is about surviving in the worst possible circumstances. The excellent Black Swan is about what pressure will do to you if you let it. Even the most important scene of True Grit is about going past the breaking point.

As I said in the beginning of my books lead this week, "[s]ince the financial crisis is now a precocious toddler of 2 years old—you turn your back on that little scamp for a minute and he's doing something unspeakably horrible to the family dog—we have all had time to digest how fucked we are." All we have heard, again and again, is how terrible the recession is, and how we have still not recovered. Even our movies now are about putting up with it, taking it, and waiting it out.

We are now participants in the rope-a-dope economy, taking it again and again, wondering how much longer it can go on, waiting for our chance to get one solid swing in, wondering if that opportunity will ever come. Retail figures this Christmas look good. Will this be the time to strike back? We've had a dozen false openings since the summer of 2008, signs that were interpreted as positive by all the right people. But we haven't come back yet. Is now our chance? How about now? Or is it better to take it for a while longer, to keep waiting? Will 2011 be our year?