This true story carefully offers an intriguing snapshot into British history to properly preserve it for posterity. Both director Simon Stone and screenwriter Moira Buffini are to be congratulated on bringing this unconventional tale to the screen. Whether you know the Sutton Hoo story or you are unearthing the story for the first time, The Dig ultimately shines a light on a great archeological find. This is set against the start of the Second World War.
The Dig opens with amateur archaeologist Basil Brown (Ralph Fiennes) being called to the Suffolk home of the wealthy Edith Pretty (Carey Mulligan). She wants to hire him to dig up a cluster of large and mysterious mounds found throughout her property. Local rumours suggest the remains of a Viking hoard or Roman graves scattered across her property. Brown, however, believes it to be an Anglo-Saxon site, which if proven to be true, would be one of the most significant finds in British archaeological history.
Once Brown is proven to be correct he soon finds himself pushed aside as the British Museum becomes involved. The focus shifts between the power struggle of the working-class Brown and the pompous Charles Phillip (Ken Stott), brought in by the Office of Public Works, to oversee the remainder of the excavation.
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As the Second World War becomes imminent tensions and new arrivals grow. Blended within the tension we see the strained relationship between married archaeologists Stuart and Peggy Piggot (Ben Chaplin and Lily James) and Edith’s handsome cousin Rory (Johnny Flynn) begin to transform the film into a new light.