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The Dig

Carey Mulligan plays Mrs. Pretty, a widow of significant means, who hires Basil Brown, played by Ralph Fiennes, to conduct an archeological dig on her property. There are several mounds on the property, one of which she feels particularly drawn toward. Mr. Brown’s discovery of an ancient sailing vessel creates a lot of commotion in the local and archeological community. The film is a visually beautiful period piece. Mulligan and Fiennes give characteristically strong performances. I have always really loved the naturalness of Mulligan’s performances, and this one is no exception. I found the story interesting, although the screenplay could have used some work; there were various pieces of it, such as the romance between her cousin and one of the archeologists, that apparently has some basis in fact but seemed irrelevant to the main story. In fact, reading up on the story afterwards shows that the film takes liberties with the facts that don’t always work to the film’s advantage. Thumbs up for a film that I would not characterize as “great”, but I still enjoyed it for its visual craftsmanship and acting. (2020; 3.5 Stars)


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