The Dig Poster

The Dig (2021)

Biography | Drama | History
Rayting:   7.1/10 64K votes
Country: UK
Language: English
Release date: January 29, 2021

An archaeologist embarks on the historically important excavation of Sutton Hoo in 1938.

Movie Trailer

User Reviews

carolinejgarnett 29 January 2021

A very moving poignant film. Interesting story, but it explored many themes and some subtle undertones going on. We enjoyed it all the way through.

Jimmycakes 7 February 2021

I was excited to see a film that portrays 1930's England, and Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan are proven actors that bring a unique presence to their films. Archeology might be a tough sell for the premise of a film and it was these actors that drew me in. The first half gets it so right, it's just about the time period and characters digging while becoming excited as they unearth the past, it's rather simple yet these actors have no trouble keeping you interested. In fact it was refreshing to see English people presented on screen becoming excited over finding evidence of their ancestors and past to this ancient land given the current hostile attitude towards the English and Celtic peoples by particular political groups and media companies who like to remind us we have little culture and heritage.

Then suddenly it's as if the writers thought viewers would become bored and in comes a new character, a rather modern-behaving "liberated" female with her controlling husband, inserted into the plot to remind us how women should really behave in the current age as if we needed reminding. The key characters become background noise, and you have this love triangle develop, the film takes on a different purpose, I'd rather see more character development between the man who discovered the relics and the museum trying to take credit from the little man.

robinalers 29 January 2021

Ralph Fiennes plays the character beautifully and carries the movie for the first half. Alas, not enough to make it interesting.

While the start is promising and portrays Basil's (Ralph Fiennes) passion and great work, halfway through the movie the storyline just switches. What started as an ode to Basil's work, the importance of the find and Mrs. Pretty's trust, quickly turned into a story a love story about two characters we hardly care about. Suddenly, Basil is nothing more than a sidelined character who's just kind of "there". Like the makers of the movie just decided to make a completely different film halfway through.

I feel the movie does little more justice to acknowledge Basil's work than history has done by not acknowledging it. His importance and find have been overshadowed by a random love story we've all seen before in many other movies and to have sidelined the archeological find and Basil's importance for some cheap love story, feels wrong.

johnbirch-2 29 January 2021

This is a superb film that I could watch again and again.

I've been to see the Sutton Hoo treasures many times and have seen the story told on TV from Blue Peter to Horizon so I was looking forward to this... but also slightly worried about it. Films on subjects like this can be either dry or trivial or triumphalist or worthy or just bad.

But from the first scenes this film is beautiful. These is no other word. The outdoor scenes (and much of it is outdoors) is just breathtakingly gorgeous at times. This is Suffolk and wow does it look good. If anyone has seen the BBC series "The Detectorists" they will get the idea. It captures the big skies of East Anglia so well, sun through the early morning mists, or even after the rain like works of art. The stage on which the action is set is sumptuous.

As for the action - its just so good. Almost dreamlike at times - I found myself thinking of "The Go-Between" (also set in Suffolk, of course!) with dialogue over the top of action that is not taking place at quite the same time. Hard to describe, but its like memories.

Some of the film is a shade predictable - the small enthusiast verses the big guy, the mismatched couple and a possible tragic love story, the child's eye view at times, the repressed sexuality of the period - it's all there. But it is so well done.

The only downside is that this film - this photography - deserves the big screen, but most people will now see it on the small. This is such a shame. Its deserved so much more.

miclarke 1 February 2021

Some nice performances here and the set-up for a great narrative about archaeology in pre-war Britain and the role that regular citizens played in scientific exploration, but something goes awry along the way. The second half of the film focuses on several plotlines that simply did not even exist in the first half of the movie. Something was clearly done here after the first draft of the screenplay. Were sections cut? Were characters added to "spice it up"? We may never know, but the final product feels awkward though it's no fault of the cast here.

Instant_Palmer 29 January 2021

'The Dig' is a beautifully photographed period film (circa 1939, Suffolk, Great Britain) that seemed a lock to garner first Oscars for Ralph Fiennes (*overdue) and Cinematographer Mike Eley. Therefore, I'm instituting the 1st Annual "Oscar Snub Award" to the film most undeservedly left out of nominations. This year it was a no brainer - 'The Dig' wins and it wasn't close. So on with my original review B. S. ("Before Snub")...

Metaphors supporting Themes abound in 'The Dig' - "life is fleeting", "the search for meaning in our lives", "our relevance in History", and "is this all there is". Classic themes for dramas that are the eternal questions within our lives. The film intertwines those themes within the central characters, each conducting their own search for answers.

The framework of the story occurs on the eve of WWII for Great Britain. The impending gravity of such hovers over the film, intensifying the characters' emotions and urgency in searching for answers to such questions - the telescope and magnifying glass used within the story serve as metaphors to that end. Collapsing walls of the dig site that almost takes Basil Brown's life illustrate the tenuous fragility of life which could end in a moment of randomness. There are many more such examples in 'The Dig'.

Such poetic filmmaking takes painstaking attention to detail in production to pull off at the level achieved in this film. Utilizing the beautiful cinematography of Mike Eley and deft touch of Film Editor Jon Harris, Director Simon Stone succeeds in elevating the The Dig to an elite level of film art.

This is without question the Best Picture of the Year, and I am thankful this beautiful film came in at the last possible minute to save an otherwise (and understandable) blah year in the film industry.

Director Simon Stone's Oscar nomination for both Director and Best Picture is a virtual certainty.

Ralph Fiennes (Basil Brown) never misses (except taking home an Oscar), but I predict he will FINALLY* be recognized by Academy members en masse for his best of the year acting in this film, along with Mike Eley for Cinematography.

Carey Mulligan (Edith Pretty) should be nominated except she has two Oscar worthy films, both with a deserved good chance to take home an Oscar. Her spotlight lead part in 'A Promising Young Woman' has much more Oscar potential which will negate her role in The Dig - Mulligan should get Actress of the Year for putting forth two such great performances in one year!

At the end of the night (Oscar night), 'The Dig' could sweep up wins in the aforementioned major Oscar categories for 2020 - I certainly wouldn't bet against it happening (EDIT: Boy was I wrong 😑), and In terms of total Oscar nominations, this film sets up as the front contender for 2020. Then again, it could be a dodgy awards year - competition of last minute entries (is it going to get to the point where releases occur the day before the voting deadline?), and above-the-norm "agendas" abound in the industry these days [EDIT: Boy, was I correct about this (I am sorry to say)].

While the ensemble cast is highly competent, I don't see a particular supporting role having enough "spotlight momentum" to break-out and win an Oscar, although Lily James (Peggy Piggott) is a long-shot.

If there was one weak point in the film, it would be the digression

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