Don’t worry, Netflix’s The Dig isn’t a video game movie based on Lucasarts’ classic point ‘n click adventure game of the same name from the mid-’90s – although now that I think about it maybe a movie based on an original Steven Spielberg idea with writing from Orson Scott Card (of Ender’s Game fame) might not be too bad.
No, this The Dig draws its inspiration from another classic, namely the discovery of the Sutton Hoo burial site near Woodbridge, England – an Anglo-Saxon cemetery dating back to the 6th and 7th centuries, and included the discovery of a ship burial that scholars believe contained the remains of King Raedwald of East Anglia. The movie based on John Preston’s 2007 historical drama novel that takes a few liberties with the true events, and in an interesting coincidence Preston is a nephew of one of the Sutton Hoo excavators (and who is played by Lily James).
Directed by Simon Stone (The Daughter), with the screenplay by Moira Buffini (Harlots), it stars Carey Mulligan (An Education) as a wealthy widow who, in the midst of WWII, hires an excavator and amateur archeologist (Ralph Fiennes – Schindler’s List) to inspect what she believes to be burial mounds on her property. What the pair unearth turns out to be one of the most significant archeological finds in modern British history.
The official plot synopsis is as follows:
As WWII looms, a wealthy widow (Carey Mulligan) hires an amateur archaeologist (Ralph Fiennes) to excavate the burial mounds on her estate. When they make a historic discovery, the echoes of Britain’s past resonate in the face of its uncertain future.
Let’s take a look:
This looks like a particularly strong drama from the big red streaming machine. Mulligan and Fiennes are both putting in the kinds of performances you’d expect from actors of their calibre, and the story that’s being told looks compelling.
What do you think?
The Dig is currently set for a limited release in theatres on 15 January 2021, before premiering on Netflix on 29 January 2021. It also stars Johnny Flynn, Ben Chaplin, Ken Scott, Monica Dolan, and Arsher Ali.
Last Updated: December 8, 2020