28 thoughts on “The Dig (2021)

  1. It’s not a period drama, but if you haven’t seen it you might enjoy the very lovely series ‘Detectorists’, starring Toby Jones and Mackenzie Crook as people who go metal detecting as a hobby. It has a gorgeous soundtrack and cinematography, and a real sweetness without sentimentality.

    1. Thirded! Phenomenal, funny, gentle, wonderful. Perfect pandemic viewing.

      AND, there is some Anglo-Saxon flashback in season 3, so totally counts as a frock flick.

  2. I really hate the Invented Romance trope myself. But movie makers seem to think it’s necessary.

    1. didn’t you know?!??!?
      “Women won’t go to see a movie unless it’s got mushy stuff in it.”
      rolls eyes

    2. If there must be a romance, why does it have to be a seeming hetero couple falling in love? I’m all for queer romance, a Gomez and Morticia style marriage, or a queer Gomez and Morticia style marriage. Nothing more romantic than still being deep in love after many years.

      1. Actually, if you watch the film, there is a homosexual romance (husband of the woman in made-up love story with another chap on the dig). Does that tick your box?

  3. I completely agree with your assessment. And I actually liked Carey Mulligan in her role.

  4. I think Carey Mulligan did a wonderful job, but I do feel it’s a bummer for actresses who are actually the right age to play the real Edith. The romance between Rory and Peggy seemed shoehorned in to me, although the actors were both great.

  5. A movie about the discovery of a treasure taught in Art History 101? Yes! and they showed it with all the dirt and muck …. and what the objects looked like when discovered. Not made clean and pretty. Class conflict, a looming war, respect for the burial …. so glad it was a British production. I don’t want to imagine what a Hollywood production would look like. I just wished the end credits told the average viewer more about the Sutton Hoo treasure. A re-watch will be occuring.

  6. Thanks for the info about pools of light jewelry–I’d never heard of it, and now I want some!
    A lovely film, but I wish they’d shown more of the buried pieces–muddy is fine, but we didn’t learn very much about the treasure. The one thing they mentioned by name–a Merovingian something-or-other–was breezed past with an “As you know, Bob,” kind of delivery. Give us more to learn!

    1. Merovingian Tremessis and yes, that annoyed me tremendously (OK, I’m an archaeologist so maybe I’m on a bandwagon). This film about the major find had zero artefacts shown!!

  7. Because I’m old but not quite THAT old, I remember vaguely those wonderful pictorial sweaters (jumpers). His certainly has gotten a lot of attention and rightly so. I wonder if his is a period one otherwise WTH did they manage to get it made? A few years ago I found a Davy Crocket one which sold promptly.
    And I agree with Kelly that it would have been nice to focus more on the history of the Anglo Saxons that had settled Sutton Hoo, and the treasures. Having said that, it was extremely well acted, especially Mulligan and Fiennes who disappeared into their parts, and the story was gently told.

  8. I agree that the romance was mostly unnecessary, but at least it’s a little bit based on Peggy Piggott’s life. In the ’50s, after her marriage to Stuart Piggott really did break down (no documented evidence of homosexuality on his part), she did fall in love with and marry someone she met while doing archeological research–only it was in Italy and her second husband was Italian.

  9. Also, Nicole Kidman originally had the role of Mrs. Pretty but had to drop out. So possibly they had limited time to make the decision to cast Carey Mulligan?

  10. No, I haven’t seen it yet, but I have been interested ever since learning of it. I think Ralph Fiennes is the one of the handsome/sexy/beautiful men in the world, and I’m always amazed how he can make himself look homely for a role when it requires it. I mean, not all archeologists look like Indiana Jones. ;) Aside from one incredibly good-looking and extremely talented actor, the story itself looks very intriguing. We’re on schedule to have a very grey, cold, and windy weekend ahead–so that might be just the push I need to finally watch this British film! Also, I agree with the other respondents that Dectorists is a really fun watch, and it features WCW alum Rachael Stirling in a great role.

  11. I very much enjoyed The Dig. I loved the attention to detail. I wish the actress who played Edith Pretty was in her 50’s — it wasn’t a deal breaker either (mostly because Carey Milligan was superb). I loved how Ralph Fiennes went out of his way to nail the Suffolk accent, it’s definitely not one you hear a lot.

    The movie touched on so many points, classism, sexism, the impending war, and romance. My favourite romance was actually between Edith, Basil, and the site. So sweet and endearing and had some nice tension in it.

    The attention to detail was ever so evident (I cannot emphasize that enough) and I appreciate that kind of care going into a film/show/anything. ❤️

  12. I’m still wrapping my head around the fact this film takes place in the UK. I’ve lived in Boston for seven years. I keep expecting this to be about the 14+ year construction project known as the Big Dig.

  13. I have been recommending this film to all and sundry and will, myself, revisit it for the way in which it loved the characters, the countryside and the core story. This film helps to celebrate probably the best piece of British archaeological digging of the 20th century. I only wish that Basil Brown’s amazing feat had been even more lauded. I appreciated the subtly of most of the story telling and the handling of the growing shadow of the approaching war. The fictional love story added nothing for me and seemed unnecessary, but it didn’t particularly get in the way either or distract much from the real story. Thank you for pointing out the subtle clues of limited funds in Mrs Pretty’s clothing; next time I will watch with a clearer eye.

  14. I literally watched this film last night, and thought, “I wonder if they’re going to talk about this on frock flicks?” I also covet that rocket ship jumper, and I will never not be salty that Ralph Fiennes is only an “academy award nominee” in the year 2021. I am FOREVER bitter that he didn’t win for Schindler’s List.

    1. I’ll be bitter right along with you. Fiennes performance was so good, I was terrified of him until I saw him in an interview. Then I was in complete AWE. That performance is simply one of the best (and I do mean THE best) of all time.

  15. Unpopular opinion: people who act like romance is not a valid subplot for a female character are sexist. The sole reason people act like romance is degrading is because romance is the one genre women have traditionally ruled. If romance was a traditionally masculine genre no one would be acting like a romantic subplot for a female character is somehow wrong or embarrassing or bad.

    The sole reason people are anti-romance is because romance is traditionally female and people really hate women, whether they seem to know this or not.

    1. The problem isn’t so much the romance as the fake. A fictional love interest was added because it’s some kind of formula.

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