Most likely, this is the influence of a theater director in charge of the film. Simon Stone created four films before The Dig with the debut only 5 years ago in Toronto with The Daughter — a play by Norwegian Henrik Ibsen shot against the backdrop of the rural landscapes of Australia. And while critics have different opinions about the acting, most of them say
this film "demonstrates both the staying power of classic material and the risks inherent in bringing it up to date".
One of the features of Stone as a theater director is the ability to turn the story, artistic or real, into something different from the original and yet broadcasting all the nuances embedded in it. In addition, he belongs to the direction of theatrical figures who look at the past through the prism of the present day — a trend that came, for example, to Russia only in the last 10 years, but has long been actively developed in countries outside. And Simon Stone is right in the middle of the action — in 2007, he founded The Hayloft Company, where he directed his own adaptations of such classic dramatic texts as Platonov by Chekhov, Tiesta by Seneca, Awakening of Spring by Wedekind, and Little Eyolf by Ibsen.
Stone's actors on screen show sensitivity differently. When there is a ghostly hope that the widow Edith will see in Brown the person she desperately needs, because they get along perfectly, the truth falls upon us. He is married, and her fate is already a foregone conclusion, but in a completely different way. A novel by journalist and author John Preston was adapted by screenwriter Moira Buffini who is known for Jane Eyre (2011)
and Byzantium (2012)
. Perhaps unintentionally, Stone and Buffini divide the film in two parts, in a theater style. Basil Brown from the central character gradually turns into just one of many. And yet Fiennes's acting talent allows him not to get lost while a love line develops and business issues are resolved between representatives of museums in the foreground.