Friday, February 18, 2022



In 1898 Pierre and Marie Curie working in a Paris laboratory discovered two radioactive elements, Polonium, named after her native country of Poland, and Radium.  Both are radioactive, and the Curie's showed for the first time that radioactive energy comes from inside atoms and that such radioactive elements decay into other elements.  This refuted the existing notion that atoms were indestructible.  For these discoveries, they won the Nobel Prize together.  After her husband's death, Marie Curie won the Nobel Prize a second time in the field of chemistry.

The Amazon Prime movie Radioactive won me over, but not till the sentimental ending, which is similar to the ending of "Edge of Darkness".   The movie has been criticized for focussing on Marie Curies' sex life, and also for some bizarre and jolting editing choices where the film will switch from the discovery of Radium, suddenly to the dropping of the atomic bomb and the Chernobyl nuclear accident, as if the Curie's should have foreseen the terrible consequences of radioactivity decades into the future.

Also, the movie jumps decades quickly.  This is what happens when you fit a person's entire life, especially one as rich as Marie Curie's, into 100 minutes.

Marie Curie died in 1934 at age 66 from anemia caused by her frequent exposure to radioactive substances.  Her husband, Pierre, died in an accident in 1906, but he was also sick from radiation.

The movie portrays Marie Curie as not the most pleasant person in the world.  She was not the best at personal relationships nor very amicable.  She was a very down to business kind of person who as a woman struggled to get the respect that she deserved.  She would eventually become highly regarded in the scientific community. 

Rosamund Pike's performance as Marie Curie is particularly good.  

Rating:  B+.

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