Freeze Frame: “The Dig” (PG-13), “The Little Things” (R), “Penguin Bloom” (TV-14), “Supernova” (R)

“The Dig,” a warm and moving tale inspired by true events. Carrie Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes star in Simon Stone’s adaptation of John Preston’s novel about one of the most important archeological discoveries in British history. In 1939, group of enthusiastic amateurs unearth an Anglo-Saxon treasure on a remote rural estate…but it’s the filmmakers who hit emotional paydirt. “The Dig” is a truly welcome and pleasant surprise.


Three Oscar winners, Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto add gravitas to the lurid serial killer melodrama, “The Little Things.” Washington plays an ostracized cop wrestling with old demons who tries to help a green detective solve a string of murders. The film adds nothing new to the genre and the story eventually loses its credibility. But as usual, Washington brings something to his role that makes it somewhat watchable.


Naomi Watts stars in the touching Australian family drama, “Penguin Bloom.” It tells the true story of Sam Bloom, an avid surfer who suffers pronounced mental trauma after a tragic fall leaves her paralyzed. When one of her sons rescues a magpie that had fallen out of a tree, the act of kindness winds up having a powerful impact on everyone in the family. While it’s formulaic, “Penguin Bloom” rises above its emotional manipulations to find some moments of emotional authenticity.


Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth play a middle-aged gay couple who go on a final road trip in an old RV in the British drama, “Supernova.” Their relationship is tested by the fact that one of them is quickly losing his battle with dementia. “Supernova” somehow manages to avoid becoming too saccharine and sentimental thanks largely to the capable cast and the filmmakers’ subtle approach. “Supernova” benefits from its stars.

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