Carey Mulligan, who has starred in Drive, The Great Gatsby, and the recent Promising Young Woman, has a new film entitled The Dig, a Netflix exclusive which has jumped into the Top 10 on Netflix last week, where it has remained a steady fixture.
The Dig tells the true story of Edith Pretty (Carey Mulligan), a 1939 Suffolk, England landowner who has large burial mounds on her property that she would like to investigate. She hires Basil Brown (Ralph Fiennes), a local self-taught archaeologist-excavator, at first offering him the same amount of money he was receiving from the Ipswich Museum. But upon seeing what was in front of him, Brown is able to get more money from Pretty. The museum tries to convince Brown to return, telling him a Roman villa they want him to work on is much more important, but Brown doesn’t see it that way, and he continues on working with Pretty.
Carey Mulligan’s Edith Pretty is a sickly woman, and she is warned by her doctor to avoid stress. As she deals with her health, Brown discovers – to his astonishment – iron rivets from a ship at the dig site. The finding is significant because, according to Brown, it could only mean that the burial site is of someone of great importance, possibly even a king. A prominent local archaeologist tries to join the dig, but is rejected by Pretty. She instead hires her cousin Rory to join in the dig. As the news of Brown’s discovery makes its way outside of Woodbridge, Cambridge archaeologist Charles Phillips arrives and declares the site national importance, thus taking it over from Brown. Phillips brings along his own crew, including Peggy Piggott (Lily James), who uncovers the very first Anglo-Saxon artifact.
As more historical artifacts are dug up, the question as to who owns this land and the properties within it begins to escalate as war approaches. In addition to Carey Mulligan, Ralph Fiennes, and Lily James, The Dig also stars Johnny Flynn, Ben Chaplin, and Ken Stott.
Edith Pretty and Basil Brown’s findings were truly significant and priceless. The site, called the Sutton Hoo, contained a complete burial ship that most scholars believe held the body of King Rædwald of East Anglia.
Starting with the 2005 Pride & Prejudice, Mulligan’s first starring role, she’s had a tendency to lean toward more of the serious dramatic roles. She’s appeared in features such as The Greatest, Never Let Me Go, and Far from the Maddening Crowd. In 2009, Mulligan received her sole Oscar nomination for her role in An Education.
Not all of Carey Mulligan’s movie career revolves around the serious dramatic role. She was in the gangster flick Public Enemies with Christian Bale and Johnny Depp, the Coen brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis, and Shame alongside Michael Fassbender. In the last few years, Mulligan has starred in Paul Dano’s directorial debut, Wildlife, the Netflix original Mudbound, and in 2015’s Suffragette alongside Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep.
Carey Mulligan’s most recent film, Promising Young Woman, has also been receiving quite a bit of acclaim. Promising Young Woman recently was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Drama at the Golden Globe Awards. In addition to nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay going to Emerald Fennell, Mulligan also received a nomination for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama.
The true story of The Dig has been an immediate critical hit for Carey Mulligan, as it not only has remained one of the most-watched movies on Netflix since its release, but the film is also receiving a positive reaction from critics, earning a very positive 87% rate on Rotten Tomatoes. The film only received a limited release in movie theaters, before Netflix released the film on January 29, 2021.
Next up for Carey Mulligan is the film Maestro which she will star with Bradley Cooper, a film in which Cooper will also direct. It tells the story of American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein (Cooper) and his wife Felicia Montealegre (Mulligan). This film will receive a Netflix release. Mulligan will also star in Fingernails, in which she plays Anna, who is worried about her long-term relationship, and visits an institute that will test the romantic love in desperate couples.
The Dig is one of the best-reviewed movies of 2021 so far, and between this and Promising Young Woman, this is a great time for Carey Mulligan fans. The Dig is currently streaming on Netflix.