Cert 12 Stars 3

An extraordinary life is subject to an earnest but less than inspired telling in this sincere story of groundbreaking Polish scientist, Marie Curie.

It’s not for the lack of trying by talented Brit actress Rosamund Pike, who’s spiky, proud and determined as she bares her soul and her bum in her strenuous efforts to bring the double Nobel prize winner to life.

Sadly rather than focussing on the most important of Curie’s achievements, the discovery of two radioactive elements Radium and Polonium which would eventually poison her, the script falls into the elephant trap of biopics by trying to cover too much ground.

And the pace is more stately than whistle-stop as we flash back and forth as we witness her struggle against the glass ceiling of the scientific establishment, her research and her work on the battlefields of the First World War, all set against the backdrop of her busy domestic arrangements of kids and a marital affair.

There are handsome sets, costumes and performances throughout, but the science is kept to the bare minimum and we never experience the thrill of discovery.