Review by Dan Skip Allen
The year 2020 has had quite a few great movies come out. Netflix has quite a few awards contenders on their slate. Films like The Trial of the Chicago 7, Mank, and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom have given them quite a nice output in the last few months.
The Dig is about a woman who has mounds in her back pasture and wants to know if there is anything hidden in them. She hires a local excavator to dig them up to see if anything is in them. She gets more than she bargains for when the country's historical society gets involved in the dig. This film has great historical relevance because of its subject matter.
Carey Mulligan has done some interesting roles in her career. Most recently, she is getting a lot of critical acclaim for her performance in Promising Young Woman. In The Dig, she plays Edith Pretty. Edith is a good mother and a good woman. This a vastly different role than her other roles. It is more subtle, but also effective in getting out her story. She has to deal with the enormity of the situation. It's not easy on her. Mulligan expresses her emotions very calmly.
Ralph Fiennes has played everything from Nazi war criminals in Schindler's List to Lord Voldermort in the Harry Potter films. In The Dig, he plays Basil Brown, an excavator who is tasked with digging up some mounds in Ms. Pretty's back pasture. Some of his roles are over the top and extraordinary in their nature others are not so much. His role in The Dig is very much subtle and more down to earth. His character has a passion for his work and is developing a friendship with his employer Ms. Pretty and her son.
Simon Stone isn't known to American audiences as a prolific director. The Dig will put him on the map as a filmmaker to watch in the future. This film has a heart to it that many films don't have. It deals with rare subject matter, but finds a way to make those watching it care about the characters and the story within it. Period pieces such as this have to be engaging and interesting. This film is both.
It's a good thing Netflix has gotten on board with this slice-of-life film with great historical value. Simon Stone has made a film that is educational as well as entertaining. It has fantastic cinematography, solid acting, and a terrific story that will keep audiences engaged throughout. It's always great when these types of films come out. Most people probably haven't heard of this true story, but they should.
The Dig streams on Netflix beginning January 29.