The trailer strongly suggests that Marjane Satrapi‘s Radioactive (Amazon Prime, 7.24) is an instructive sanctification thang, the subject being twice-Nobel Prize-winning radiation pioneer Marie Curie (Rosamund Pike). You can smell the determination to pay tribute to a great, independent-minded woman who wasn’t sufficiently respected by the male establishment, etc. And if that doesn’t scare you off, the fact that Radioactive was written by the guy who wrote the depressingly on-the-nose screenplay for The Aeronauts should at least give you pause.
Consider Charles Bramesco’s Guardian review:
“Radioactive gives the by-the-numbers biopic treatment to the great Marie Curie (Rosamund Pike). The film flits through the defining moments in her life: meeting her husband and lifelong research partner Pierre (Sam Riley), discovering the elements polonium and radium, two children and two Nobel prizes, the tragic loss of her spouse to a trampling horse, and her scandalous affair with her other colleague Paul Langevin (Aneurin Barnard)
“All the while, both Curie and the film remain firmly committed to the cause of scientific advancement, which we know because she says so several times over the course of the script. It’s as if a string hangs off of the back of Pike’s spine, and when a key grip offscreen pulls it, she recites one of a handful of inspirational catchphrases.
“Satrapi, a thrilling talent when she brought her graphic novel Persepolis to the screen, explicitly and aggressively champions the virtue of being smart, then treats her audience like they haven’t got two functioning brain cells to rub together.
“This is a film that, in Dewey Cox-ian fashion, believes the audience can’t identify a historical figure until somebody says their complete name out loud. This is a film that decides we must actually watch a random child create an atomic model to understand that Curie left a lasting legacy. This is a film that forces Curie to make hilariously foreboding statements about the possibility of her advances in radiation being co-opted for unsavory ends, then flashes forward to the atomic bomb melting the happy citizens of Hiroshima to make sure everyone gets the point.
“Is Satrapi worried that the viewer isn’t aware of the devastation in the Japanese theater, or just that they don’t realize that it was sad? Either way, the admiration for a woman who knew so much about so much clashes with the unspoken assumption that the audience knows absolutely nothing about anything.”