You always know when Netflix thinks it has a potentially award-winning gem on its hands – it gives it a cinema release. And that's exactly what happened with The Dig. Based on the 2007 novel of the same name by John Preston, the movie is centered on the events of the 1939 excavation of Sutton Hoo.
It stars a host of big names including Carey Mulligan (Collateral), Ralph Fiennes, Lily James , Johnny Flynn, Ben Chaplin, Ken Stott, Archie Barnes and Monica Dolan.
Set in a time when the world was on the brink of war, Edith Pretty (Mulligan) believes that there's something valuable buried on her land. But because of the time, the museum cannot send anybody or start any new projects. So instead, Pretty hires Basil Brown (Fiennes) to start an initial excavation to see if there's anything there.
Initial thoughts are that it is viking graveyard, but as Brown carries on with the dig, it soon becomes clear that they on the verge of an incredible discovery. With the museum now interested in the dig, more archaelogists arrive to finish the job so the findings can be preserved before the war breaks out.
The Dig sounds like a rather ordinary story but the reality is that it is such a beautiful film. Mulligan and Fiennes are of course incredible to watch and as period British drama's go this is right up there. It teases with the reveal of the dig and of the relationships that form. So in that sense it's a bit of a slow burner. Indiana Jones it ain't!
That said, it's is a really moving film told with the backdrop of a war and the incredible score by Stefan Gregory which elevates it far beyond the simple story it tells. For some it won't have enough bells and whistles but if you love a good drama then this will be right up your street.