The Dig
2021
***
Director: Simon Stone
Cast: Carey Mulligan, Ralph Fiennes, Lily James, Johnny Flynn, Ben Chaplin, Ken Stott, Archie Barnes, Monica Dolan

In 1939, a wealthy widow hires a self-taught archaeologist Basil Brown to excavate the large burial mounds in her estate. When the news of their discovery gets out, the leading experts in the country take over the site. This enjoyable drama tells the real-life story behind the Sutton Hoo excavation in Suffolk, England. The film starts as a warm and authentic character piece, with lovely performances from Mulligan and Fiennes. In the midsection, Basil Brown is pushed to the sidelines, as Moira Buffini’s script introduces an entirely fictional pre-war romance between the younger cast members. Thankfully the wrap-up is satisfying. Based on John Preston’s 2007 novel.