Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge

100 min. In French, German, Polish, & English w/English subtitles. Marie Noëlle, dist. by Big World Pictures c/o Amazon.com. 2018. DVD $29.95. SCI/BIOPIC
This well-acted French biopic explores the life of Marie Curie (1867-1934) during the period between her husband's untimely death in 1906 and her receipt of a second Nobel Prize. Watching it in light of today's scientific knowledge, it is frightening to see how cavalierly the investigators handled radioactive materials. Indeed, they were oblivious to the dangers of radiation and had faith that radium could be the great cure for a large number of ailments. Although Curie's work ethic, brilliance, and the high esteem in which her contemporaries held her are illustrated (as portrayed by Karolina Gruszka), the primary focus here is on her personal life. In particular, it covers her love affair with physicist Paul Langevin, which was carried on quite openly; the notoriety almost cost her the Nobel honor. Curie is presented as a woman well ahead of her time, forging a place for herself in the scientific community and fighting the double standard of what constitutes acceptable sexual and social behavior.
VERDICT Some scenes are unsuitable for children; overall, this film is highly recommended for a general audience.
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