The Dig, the remains of the day

CRITICAL – A poignant film, starring Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes, about the discovery of the Sutton Hoo treasure in England in 1939. Watch on Netflix.

Day is breaking over the English countryside. In saddlebags, jacket and tweed cap, Ralph Fiennes knocks on the door of an imposing residence. The humble worker is greeted by a butler. The latter asks her to wait a few moments for the hostess, Carey Mulligan. The elegant lady shows him around her estate. “Yet another British costume movie», Are we tempted to exclaim at the first images of The Dig.

Big mistake: Simon Stone’s film, released directly on Neflix for lack of cinemas, is neither a school biopic, nor a cutesy romance. The drama traces the discovery in England at the dawn of the Second War of the most fantastic treasure of the XXe century, that of Sutton Hoo. It turns out to be a tender and bittersweet melancholy over time, the inevitability of our death.

Under the clouds

Rich widow and mother of a whimsical toddler, Edith Pretty hires an amateur archaeologist, Basil Brown, to conduct excavations on her land. Against all odds, the duo exhume a funeral boat and gold objects dating back to the Saxons. The enthusiasm caused by this discovery was tempered by a summer of 1939 when the clouds gathered. The war, which will turn the strong men who dig this earth into cannon fodder, is approaching. Like disease.

Tried by life, Edith, serene and already elsewhere, communicates in silence with the pragmatic Basil. They marvel at the builders of this tomb and push a young generation, camped by Johnny Flynn and Lily James, to no longer hide behind the conveniences of a world on the verge of faltering, and to give free rein to their thirst to live. Having replaced Nicole Kidman shortly before the shooting, Carey Mulligan, who we will talk about a lot with the feminist narrative Promising Young Woman, amazes with its determination and vulnerability.


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