If it wasn’t on Netflix, THE DIG would be destined for Sunday afternoon TV circulation in perpetuity. That’s not to disparage the craft and passion that went into it, from Simon Stone’s steady direction to Mike Eley’s pristine cinematography and beyond, but it’s a romantic and somewhat cosy take on a key event in British history with good performances and added (honestly unneeded) dramatic tension thrown in. Unless you’re a historian you might not be familiar with the unearthing of the Sutton Hoo treasure in Suffolk just before WWII, but it was one of the biggest archaeological finds in British history and the film makes sure you know that from how preposterously shiny the gold is. Ralph Fiennes, Cary Mulligan and Lily James impress, and the whole thing is well-composed and evenly paced. Giving archaeologist Basil Brown long-overdue credit in a glossy drama film is an admirable aim, even if the film itself won’t change your life. SSP
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Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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