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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge movie review: so hot she’s radioactive

Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge red light

MaryAnn’s quick take…

With more sexy baths than any movie about a male scientist has ever seen, this biopic undermines the battle Curie fought to be taken seriously that is depicted here.tweet
I’m “biast” (pro): I’m desperate for movies about women
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

You’ve heard of Marie Curie. She did something with radium and won some Nobel Prizes and stuff, right? But did you also know that she took lots of sexy baths and liked to lounge around naked contemplating her affair with her married lover? It’s true!

We may presume that in all those movies about the lives of male scientists, they got down to their birthday suits once in a while, but only Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge, a joint French-Polish-German production, dares to tell the truth about the woman who developed the concept of radioactivity and pioneered the use of radiation to treat cancer: that if a camera slowly panned along her naked, reclining body (as portrayed by Karolina Gruszka), she might be caught thinking about how unfair it was that the gutter press and her professional enemies would deploy salacious gossip in an attempt to deny her an unprecedented second Nobel Prize.

If — as she notes fairly — Stockholm refused to acknowledge the work of any men who had sex lives, there’d be no Nobel winners at all. So who needs a movie about Curie to actually expand upon how groundbreaking her work was? Director Marie Noelle, who cowrote the script with Andrea Stoll, wisely chose to keep the focus where it belongs: in the boudoir. That’ll show all those stuffy sexists that a woman can be smart and sexy at the same time. That’s what really matters, isn’t it?

Click here for my ranking of this and 2017’s other releases.

red light 1.5 stars

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Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge (2017) | directed by Marie Noelle
US/Can release: Jun 30 2017
UK/Ire release: Nov 24 2017

MPAA: not rated
BBFC: not rated

viewed at home on PR-supplied physical media or screening link

IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

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