Film Review: Marie Curie
The Courage of Knowledge
Director Marie Noëlle’s visually ravishing, well-acted biopic focuses on the legendary, pioneering scientist who was the first woman ever to win a Nobel Prize, and one of the very few people to win two. The film deftly balances the history and science—looking at Marie’s groundbreaking work in radioactivity, and her numerous professional “firsts”—with the emotional journey of this fascinating figure.
Much of the story takes place during the period following the sudden death of Pierre Curie, Marie’s husband and partner, as she attempts to carve out a place for herself in the patriarchal world of academia and scientific research, while also contending with the romantic complications of an affair with a close married colleague. But the film never feels like a history lesson, or a soap opera. Noëlle has a dreamy visual style that pulls us into Marie’s emotional reality, and we find ourselves captivated by this fascinating, pioneering woman.