Radioactive (2020) Movie Script

Madame Curie!
Get an ambulance car!
Madame, what happened?
WOMAN: Hurry.
She's very weak.
- This is Madame Curie?
- Yes.
MALE NEWS VENDOR: Get your morning paper!
- Duclaux?
- Yes.
Are you interested
in microbiology?
I'm interested in all science
that confronts prevailing attitudes.
I'm Pierre Curie.
Hello, Monsieur Curie.
You're with company.
I've intruded.
You have.
Now is your opportunity to tell
us why you may have intruded,
Mademoiselle Sklodowska.
Professor Lippmann, I want to
protest in the strongest possible terms.
My equipment
was moved again last night.
- There's a simple reason for that.
- More than simple.
It is a distinct lack of respect
by those who share
your laboratory with me.
Allow me to posit an opposing hypothesis,
Mademoiselle Sklodowska.
It might be that your equipment
takes up too much space.
If a scientist's equipment
cannot be kept
in the precise positions
in which it was left--
Then we are savages, not scientists.
I couldn't agree more.
Then all I need
is your assurance--
And it is for this reason I must ask
you please to leave my laboratory.
We cannot keep you
in the manner you require.
But I have nowhere else to go.
Then you'll have to set up a laboratory
of your own, Mademoiselle Sklodowska.
I lack the funds.
Then your lack of foresight in
presenting me, constantly, with demands
is something that will teach
all of us a valuable lesson.
Maybe it's because I'm Polish.
Of course not.
Or it's because I'm not a man.
Well, yes, it might be that.
But, Maria--
We are in Paris.
I have taken the name Marie.
- Your child is crying.
- Yes, I am aware of that.
So, shouldn't you assume
some sort of motherly disposition?
- WOMAN: Sorry, madame.
- Thank you.
There. Shh, shh.
Thank you, Lana.
What if you were
to visit him? Apologize?
MARIE: I came all the way
from Poland to study science.
I can't apologize.
Science is lost to me!
I'm going
to have to become a teacher!
Oh, you are impossibly dramatic.
Your child is dramatic.
- Apologize.
- No! Never.
I will find my own way.
MAN: Most amazing.
Please don't suppose anything
by me standing beside you.
It's the woman from the street
with the Duclaux. Hello.
I stand beside you merely because
you look as awkward as I feel.
- And I made the...
- Do I seem awkward?
...I think, correct assumption
that we will look less awkward
standing together...
I don't feel awkward.
...than we might standing apart.
Well, that's a theory I can support.
I'm Pierre Curie.
You do like your name, don't you?
That's the second time you've told me it.
You're Maria Sklodowska.
I don't believe
I gave you my name.
She's wonderful, isn't she?
The dancer.
Her name is Loie Fuller
should you wish to see her again.
Do you make it your business
to know everybody's names?
- She calls it, this dance, her fire dance.
- Why?
I believe it's because she's
interested in the way flames move.
You're right.
You didn't tell me your name,
but I do know it
for three reasons.
One: you're one of only 23 female
scientists within the department.
A prime number.
Two: I've heard about your
run-ins with Professor Lippmann.
They've gained you some infamy.
And three: I read your paper on
the magnetic properties of steel.
It contained
some exceptional science.
Thank you.
And as you've been so kind,
I will admit
that I have also read your
paper on crystallization.
- Oh?
- Which I enjoyed. Very much.
Hmm. Thank you.
I also heard what Lippmann did,
evicting you from your lab. I am sorry.
I don't need pity,
Monsieur Curie.
- But if I could be of any assistance--
- I will be fine.
Just to be clear,
I refuse to be grateful
for a scientist offering
another scientist a room.
I'm more than capable
and my work--
Your ingratitude
is entirely correct.
And also I feel it's worth pointing
out that I will not be your mistress.
The thought
hadn't occurred to me.
And I won't tolerate meddling.
I will not be told how my
experiments will be optimized better.
Well, I enjoy sharing science,
and I think that by working together--
I will not tolerate it.
Well, you'll have to learn to
tolerate it. I like collaboration.
I will take an interest
in your work
and I'll be interested if
you take an interest in mine.
Mademoiselle Sklodowska?
Before you turn your back on the
only room anyone is offering you,
will you at least see
where I work?
Marcel, Andre, Maurice and Paul,
may I introduce
Mademoiselle Marie Sklodowska.
Such a pleasure to meet you,
Mademoiselle Sklodowska.
- We've heard so much about you.
- You have?
The Acadmie probably dislike me
almost as much as they dislike you.
I've been passed over for every major
advancement, professorship, funding.
Well, I'm not entirely sure.
Maybe I bore them,
maybe I scare them,
but they do me
no great favor, either.
But you're a scientist
of some renown.
Well, and I'm asking you to
share my renowned,
yet basic, space with me.
Why are you asking?
I have an instinct about you.
An instinct is not a
particularly scientific reason.
No, but it's still a reason.
Yes, this will
suit my needs entirely.
You've been frowning
at that all week.
I'm observing.
What are you looking for?
I find it easier to observe
when I'm not talking.
I measure uranium, and I discover
less radiations than I do in its ore.
The ore is more powerful
than the element?
And I can't quite work--
There must be some anomaly
in the results.
I've run the same test six times.
I get identical results.
My instinct is that
there is another element
that's skewing the results.
You think you've found
an undiscovered element?
If you're laughing at me,
then I'm--
No, I'm not laughing at you.
That's exciting.
Your measuring equipment
is useless.
It's worked perfectly fine
for me so far.
If we're going to get
the figures you need,
we need something that's
capable of extreme precision.
There is no "we."
You need something capable of
measuring microscopic aspects of energy.
- No, please. No, no, no.
- Yes. And I have an idea.
Follow me.
MARIE: Monsieur Curie.
I'm sorry,
I know it's some distance.
The length of our journey
doesn't agitate me, Monsieur Curie.
The destination does.
This is one of the finest hospitals in Paris.
There's a piece of equipment--
I choose not to go
into hospitals.
But you're a scientist!
WOMAN: Maria...
are you frightened?
Of what?
Of my illness?
Because there's no reason
to be frightened.
Will you die?
Not if you cure me.
How can I cure you?
You can kiss me.
If you kiss me again,
I promise I won't die.
- But Bronia says-- - Your
sister doesn't know everything.
Hmm? Kiss me.
Did you feel that?
That was the sound of the
world turning in a new direction.
The Maria Sklodowska direction.
I can't feel it.
Kiss me again.
can you feel it?
Yes. Yes...
I think I did.
You cured me.
Sorry, that took longer than I thought.
Are you feeling better?
I've decided, my experiments can cope
perfectly well without your equipment.
When we were
working with crystals,
we needed to be able to measure
microscopic amounts of charge.
And nothing worked...
until I built this.
It's a quadrant electrometer.
It's capable of measuring,
the tiny amounts of
electrical charge in a material.
It measures
electrical potential?
Your equipment isn't
good enough. Mine is.
Your science is brilliant,
but so is mine.
You're proposing a partnership?
That's exactly what I'm doing.
Well, basically, it's just
a question of dissolving.
My husband is looking at me
disapprovingly again.
I'm doing nothing of the sort.
You think I'm asking stupid
questions to your eminent friends.
Your questions aren't stupid.
My mother told me,
never marry a brilliant man.
You'll disappoint them
and they'll disappoint you.
And why will I disappoint you?
By failing to avoid making her
feel inadequate, I would suspect.
- This woman can stay.
No, I'll clear.
You're asking questions.
- So, you...
- Thank you.
You take the ore...
and you dissolve into it...
PIERRE: Well, we take the
pitchblende, which is a special ore
that comes all the way
from a mine in Bohemia,
and then we use
a scientific process
to remove the elements
we know we can remove
and look at what's left.
And what scientific processes
might you use?
These are very good questions.
PIERRE: We crush it,
which is extremely hard work.
Then we boil it, which results
in the removal of substance.
We add acidic
and alkaline solutions to it
until only that which is pure
PAUL: And there's a lot
of substance to remove.
- And it will be worth it.
- It's very exciting.
And why are you looking
at uranium in the first place?
- MARIE: Becquerel.
- PAUL: A more than competent scientist.
Becquerel discovered,
that uranium salts, wrapped in a
black cloth, left in a drawer,
left an impression
on a photographic plate.
And he thought that the uranium was
having an unusual chemical reaction
with something
in the atmosphere.
I say it's the element itself.
- A very radical thought.
- I still don't understand.
Imagine a grape. How do
you turn a grape into wine?
You crush it and ferment it.
MARIE: Yes. So, imagine
a grape crushes itself,
ferments itself,
changes its very being.
And what if I told you that as
the grape turns itself into wine
it releases a powerful surge of energy,
power that can make things happen?
You'd be excited, am I right?
I think so.
Yes, I would.
So, science is changing,
and the very people
who are running science
are the people who
believed the world was flat.
And I'm going to
prove them wrong.
Just as Newton did.
- We are.
- Thank you.
I see the way
you look at me, Pierre.
How do I look at you?
Like a fermenting grape?
I enjoyed that analogy.
It was a good analogy.
But you're right.
I do look at you
in a certain way.
And sometimes I have the feeling
you look at me the same way back.
When my mother died,
I couldn't speak for a week.
And people thought
it was grief. It wasn't.
It was that
I simply couldn't comprehend
why something so important
had been taken from me.
I have been selfish my entire life,
and if you hope to change that--
You're not selfish,
you're just... self-absorbed,
and you don't like anyone
to take what's yours.
I will never be the woman
or the wife you want me to be.
- You laugh at me?
I have been presumptuous.
I know, we hardly know each other.
I'm laughing because you've denied
me the chance to propose to you.
- Oh, yes, I have, haven't I?
- Mm-hmm.
Well, as a matter of
scientific interest,
was proposing
even your intention?
As a matter
of scientific interest,
the thought wasn't
fully formed in my head yet.
As you say,
we hardly know each other.
But yes, I suspect it was.
Marie Sklodowska...
you are better than any
woman I could have hoped for...
and I'll never consider
you my woman.
I would like to share
my life with you.
Thank you very much.
This way, please.
Don't move.
Remind me whenever I forget
that we should leave Paris
as often as humanly possible.
We should experience
all the world has to offer.
Remind me to retrain you
out of that glorious need
to overstate everything.
I thought I was finished with women.
- What?
- From what you've told me,
you barely started with women.
I mean, I thought I just wanted
to concentrate on science.
You do love these
portentous phrases, don't you?
But you turned me round.
I think you drugged me
into compliance.
I did no such thing.
You're just extraordinary.
- This is entirely ridiculous.
- I'm carrying you over the threshold.
You're blindfolding me
over the threshold,
which requires far less
effort on your part than mine.
[LAUGHS] The Acadmie has,
in honor of our wedding...
And because they're
excited by our work.
Yes. Decided to furnish us
with new lodgings
in which to deal with--
big step--
the pitchblende at our disposal.
- Then why do I need to be blindfolded?
- More exciting.
Hello, Paul.
- Welcome to Versailles.
- [LAUGHS] This is--
- Not quite what we wished for, but--
- It's a lean-to.
- Wait till you see inside.
This is--
Isn't it?
- MAN: Delivery!
- Come in.
- They've outdone themselves.
- They have, haven't they?
- Hello?
- I have an order. Marie Sklodowska?
It's Marie Curie now,
but this is the right place.
- I'll put it in the yard, shall I?
- Thanks.
Is it the pitchblende?
- Careful.
- I am careful.
- The distill?
- Just finishing.
Shh, Paul.
That's radium.
PAUL: Radium?
MARIE: A pinprick of radium.
Gathered from four tons
of pitchblende.
There's more to find, but--
Isn't it the most beautiful
thing you've ever seen?
And you're sure?
You're sure of it?
I'm certain.
PAUL: Yes.
It's the most beautiful thing
I've ever seen.
Well, I guess everything
changes now, doesn't it?
We thought we would
find a new element.
We were wrong.
It's taken four years,
four tons of pitchblende,
40 tons of corrosive chemicals,
and 400 tons of water.
We are here to present
to you two new elements:
polonium and radium.
We all thought that atoms
were finite and stable.
Well, it turns out some of them
are not, and in their instability...
they emit rays.
I have called this...
We are here to tell you that you have
fundamentally misunderstood the atom.
MAN: Extraordinary.
MAN: Well done. Fantastic.
MAN: Bravo!
WOMAN: Bravo, Madame Curie!
MAN: Bravo!
Lady or a man?
A lady, obviously.
She's side-saddle, of course.
- Hello.
- Hello.
- Have you ordered?
- No.
- Champagne.
- Champagne?
WAITER: Of course, sir.
- What?
- I've got it.
- You've got it? What?
- I'm a professor.
- You are?
- I am.
Oh, Pierre!
Finally they realize
I have something to offer.
Be careful.
- No?
- Yes.
I'm Professor Curie and I'm
going to have two children.
IRNE: Daddy!
Congratulations, Professor Curie.
- MARIE: Where are we going?
- Somewhere I think you're going to like.
But I'm tired, I'm pregnant
and it's freezing.
Loie Fuller has
invited us to a sance.
Loie Fuller? Spiritualism?
Oh, you cannot be serious.
It's a science like any other.
Don't talk such rot.
There's nothing to see or analyze.
You can't see radioactivity.
But that's completely different.
PIERRE: Good evening, Loie.
We live in a world
where invisible light
can pass through flesh
and expose the bones beneath it.
- Using X-gazes...
- ...I will call out...
the presence of Beethoven
as it becomes clear to me.
As in uranium rays?
In a little while, the portrait
of Beethoven will appear...
on this photographic plate.
And now Beethoven is going
to come back from the dead.
["SONATA OPUS 27 NO. 2 - 3RD
She's using our science
to further her work.
All scientists work
on previous work.
You call this science?
This could
change science forever.
Do you not understand we've
already changed science forever?
Yeah, it's stronger
on the other.
This is definitely more refined.
We've had another submission.
What did they want?
Radioactive smelling salts.
As a cure for baldness.
- What did you say?
- We don't own radium,
we don't have a patent and you
are free to do as you will with it.
If we did have a patent,
we'd have a bigger laboratory.
I know, the possibilities of
science are more important--
If we owned it, then people wouldn't
be able to enjoy the possibilities of it.
But it's trusting others to see
the possibilities that I'm not sure of.
Oh, people can see the
possibilities, believe me.
Radioactive matches.
- For your radioactive cigarettes.
Radioactive chocolate.
Radioactive toothpaste.
There's a letter in here about
radioactive beauty powder.
Loie Fuller wants us to do a
radioactive jacket for her dance.
Don't worry, I told her
we don't make jackets.
Have you heard
there's a dance craze
on Broadway based on our work?
The Piff Paff Pouf.
- MARIE: What have we done?
What's that?
That's nothing.
Henri Danlos, the dermatologist,
came to me the other day,
very excited.
He put some radium chloride
on a tumor...
and it showed some
considerable shrinkage.
Two thousand years, cancer,
the uncurable illness.
Can you imagine?
They're starting a study group.
He thinks our radium
could cure cancer?
Danlos is just the start.
I can feel our work glowing out.
I can feel it
changing the world.
MAN: You see how soft this is?
It's like... bendy.
Mr. Warner?
I'm Dr. Jenkins.
And you must be Peter.
Do you know who this guy is?
This guy, he's the doctor.
He's gonna make you a lot better.
And then, you know what?
We're all gonna go home.
DR. JENKINS: We're gonna use
what's called a linear accelerator.
Linear what?
It's at the forefront
of science, Mr. Warner.
But you have used one before?
DR. JENKINS: In this hospital,
your son will be the first to use it.
Around the world, it's the
fifth machine of its kind.
My child is not a monkey
for your research.
Unless we find a way to make
Peter better, this cancer will grow
and it will infiltrate
all his major organs.
This machine will shrink
his tumor, I guarantee it.
If it will shrink it enough,
I can't say.
But it will substantially improve
your child's chances to survive.
I wanna see it.
Of course you do.
[GASPS] It's--
It's bigger than I expected.
It's a machine with an incredible
amount of power inside it.
It needs to be big.
Wait, he's gonna be inside it?
No. No.
He'll be strapped in here.
He'll be strapped.
It's just so he doesn't move.
We need to be very precise
as we use rays.
Will he be in pain?
Mr. Warner, this machine
will improve your son's life.
And it may even save it.
Stay still, son.
- Bad news? Is it bad news?
- No, it's not bad news. It went well.
It worked?
You mean he's better?
It's a long road, Mr. Warner,
but we got off to a good start.
- Would you like to see him?
- Yeah.
MARIE: I swear, this is
the last time I come here.
PIERRE: Just wait and see.
- Shh. She needs silence for the ectoplasm to appear.
- What?
Is the radium hurting you?
No, I took it off.
It did prove to heat the flesh.
Turned it gray, look.
- There's a lesion.
- Pierre.
It's fascinating.
MARIE: She's a complete fraud.
And they have formed some
sort of mysterious friendship.
He has promised to weigh her before,
during and after the sessions
to see if there is a spirit
that's really...
coming in.
I think you're jealous.
MARIE: I am not jealous. I'm...
I'm outraged because I think
he should take what we do
far more seriously.
- Oh, heavens. Come.
- What?
He'll recognize me.
We're on the front of the newspaper.
He'll recognize me.
People can't believe that I'm the
sister of the famous Madame Curie.
Fame is for idiots.
And look, it seems to have given
Pierre some very strange ideas.
Well, allow him to be strange.
- Enjoy his enjoyment.
- But spiritualism?
- Faith isn't such a bad thing.
- I have faith.
I have faith in humanity,
I have faith in progress,
but faith in an afterlife has no
scientific foundation whatsoever.
You never think
that Mother might be...
somewhere better than this?
I do.
In a hole in the ground, in Poland.
A place far superior to Paris.
BRONIA: Maria, you are so cynical.
MARIE: No, my dear, just realistic.
MARIE: Who are you writing to?
PIERRE: They want to give me the
Legion of Honor, so I'm responding.
What's your response?
I've asked them
to thank the minister,
but I do not feel the need
to be decorated at all.
[COUGHS] I do, however, have the
greatest need for a better laboratory.
You're coughing a lot.
Am I?
Don't take me to hospital.
I won't go to hospital.
- Well, wait here.
- DOCTOR: Forceps, please.
- MARIE: No!
- DOCTOR: Now, I need you to push.
- I can't. I can't.
- Just breathe, madame. It's almost there.
- Baby needs to turn.
- Shh.
I thought we'd lost her.
The famous Marie Curie needed help,
and everyone came running.
She should have died.
But they saved her.
And you.
what are you thinking about?
I don't know.
You're not thinking
about anything?
I don't know.
You must always
be thinking about something.
What are you thinking about?
Things you're too young
to understand.
Our work has been nominated
for the Nobel Prize.
For our discovery
of radioactivity.
The commendation
only mentions my name.
- And...
- And?
And I told them if there's
a Nobel Prize to win...
we win it together.
Oh, Paul, I need a chair.
What time is it?
ten after twelve.
What time is it in Sweden?
Ten after twelve.
Are you sure this is
where you want to be?
It seems...
It seems the right place.
Here the question can be raised
whether mankind will benefit--
Whether mankind benefits--
Are you ready, Mr. Curie?
It can be thought that radium may
become very dangerous in criminal hands.
This is Colonel Tibbets
on the Enola Gay.
Do you receive, Washington? Over.
- MAN: Receiving you, Colonel Tibbets. Over.
Washington, Captain Robert Lewis
has just informed me
Little Boy is now live.
Permission to drop. Over.
- MAN: Permission granted, Colonel. Over.
Here the question
can be raised whether mankind
benefits from knowing
the secrets of nature,
whether it is ready
to profit from them,
or whether this knowledge
will not be harmful to it.
On my mark.
The example of the discoveries
of Nobel is characteristic
as high-power explosives have
enabled man to perform wonderful work.
They are also a terrible means
of destruction
in the hands of great criminals who
would lead the peoples towards war.
I am one of those
who believe, with Nobel,
that mankind will derive more good
than harm from these new discoveries.
- You're back.
- I am.
And was it everything
you hoped it would be?
Did you get all the acclamation
you felt you deserved?
My speech was entirely
about you and your work.
But I'm just the wife.
Isn't that right?
- When have I ever treated you like that?
- I am the wife of Pierre Curie.
You said you didn't care about
professional accomplishment.
You only cared about achievement.
I was the one who fought--
And I'm doing what a wife should do.
Giving you children and keeping your home.
We should get out of Paris.
Paris pollutes us both.
How dare you take my brilliance?
How dare you take their applause?
We should get out
and get some air.
"I am one of those
who believe, with Nobel,
- that mankind derives...
- No, I made it clear.
...more good than harm
from the new discoveries."
I made it absolutely clear
that it was our work!
You stole my brilliance
and you made it your own!
You should never
have gone without me!
You had just given birth.
You were too ill to travel.
And you didn't even want to go!
What was I supposed to do?
This is bigger
than both of us, Marie.
Someone had to be there
to represent the achievement!
You never did understand.
You were angry because they
didn't want you as one of their own.
Oh, you fathom me so well.
I was angry
because they were wrong.
But I never wanted any of this.
I just wanted
to do good science.
And didn't I make you
a better scientist?
Are we not
better scientists together?
Of course we are.
Because you have one of
the finest minds I've ever met.
It just so happens
that my mind is finer.
Your main problem, Marie,
is your arrogance.
My main problem is you.
And the fact
that I love you so utterly.
It's not that I don't understand
what there is between us.
It's because I don't understand
what my life was without you.
Even when I think
of myself as a boy,
somehow, you're there.
I wish you'd have been
in Sweden with me.
I wish we could have
been together.
I'm sick, Marie.
I'm sick.
When I cough, there's blood.
Let's get out of Paris,
and rest, and get better.
What about the lab?
The lab can wait.
- Let's save ourselves.
- There's too much to do.
Please, Marie. Please.
WOMAN: Pierre, don't go too far.
WOMAN #2: Maria.
Maria. Where are you?
Hello, old friend.
And we all have copies of that?
Welcome, Madame Curie.
I do not know why I'm here.
You're here because the panel
would like to consider you
for Professor Curie's position
at the university.
You wish to give me
Pierre's seat?
We don't want
to give you anything.
We're interviewing a number
of candidates and we thought
due consideration should be
given to you taking the post.
And if I don't want the post?
Then that is one less
candidate for us to consider.
I'd wish to be considered
on my own merits.
If you wish to give it to me
out of pity, don't.
If you wish to give it to me to
follow some agenda or other, don't.
- Well, what say you--
- MARIE: I have nothing else to say.
It is not a job I want,
but it is a job I will take.
And if my science doesn't speak
for itself, with regard to my quality,
then you have gravely
misunderstood my science.
I apologize, gentlemen.
Characteristic behavior,
I'm afraid.
It's an achievement, Marie.
First female professor
at the Sorbonne.
A promotion well overdue
for France's--
the world's first
female Nobel Prize winner.
Nobel Prize. Do you remember,
I wasn't even nominated?
It was Pierre who fought for me,
who fought for our work to be recognized.
Without him
I never would have won.
He was everything to me,
and now he's gone, and I'm...
I am lost.
This will pass, Marie.
No, it won't.
You're being very strong.
I'm bored of strong.
I don't want to be strong.
I want to be weak.
Well, Pierre wouldn't want that.
You think you can talk for him?
I miss him, too.
Right, here she comes.
WOMAN: Bravo.
I want to tell you about radium.
A most peculiar and...
remarkable element,
because it does not behave as it should.
MAN: It's very important
that you put your goggles on.
SOLDIER: We call this place the Doom Town.
It seems an extraordinary
amount of work.
The dummies are dressed
by J.C. Penney.
Better dressed than me,
the boys and I joke.
Do things need to be this precise?
SOLDIER: Pretty cool, huh?
Oh, no, no, no.
Oh, sorry, everyone.
- PAUL: It's no problem.
- I do apologize.
There are those that say that
my radium is making them sick.
Are you sick?
But there's no proof.
There's no proof.
There are those that say that it might
be the thing that weakened my Pierre,
that made him unable
to roll out of the way.
Pierre's skull was crushed.
He wasn't-- Radium wouldn't
have caused that.
I can't do anything without him.
- PAUL: He'd want you to.
- I know.
PAUL: He'd expect it of you.
I expect it of you, too.
You are the best woman
I've ever met.
The best person.
I know what
you have lost, Marie.
Pierre once said to me that he
couldn't imagine life without me.
And I never said anything back.
And I should have.
Do you need feeding?
Well, run along then.
- The Polish woman.
Extraordinary how she
fancies she is appearing.
Radioactivity is the
spontaneous emission of radiation
or particles
from the decay of nuclei,
which, due to a particular
arrangement of their internal structure,
are far more unstable.
It refers to particles
which are emitted from nuclei
as a result
of nuclear instability.
That's all. Thank you.
It's not as bad as it sounds.
Do we know who's involved?
- There are two.
- Two?
Marcel Demalander
and Maurice Demenitroux.
- They were preparing thorium X.
- Thorium X, for who?
Some factory outside Paris.
Maurice had been ill for quite some time.
- With what?
- Leukemia.
- And Marcel?
- He has anemia. Severe anemia.
- And there is a direct link?
- Well, of course there's a direct link.
These are radiation-led
These cases are appearing
with greater and greater regularity.
We were never unaware.
Well, now we need
to be more aware.
WOMAN: Lost your husband
so thought you'd take mine?
The great Marie Curie.
Reduced to a thief.
you're not Marie Curie.
You don't even
deserve that name.
Your name is Maria Sklodowska
and you are Polish.
A dirty Pole.
The dirty Pole
that invented a poison
[DISTANT] that the world
thought marvelous!
But I know what you are!
I heard her.
And yet you stayed inside?
You wanted me to join you out there,
and add wood to the fire?
The logical thing was to stay inside,
so I stayed inside.
I'm sorry she said those things.
Don't be.
What do we do now?
BRONIA: Four pages in this
piece of nationalist rubbish.
MARIE: His wife
hired a private detective.
They stole our letters.
She gave them to the papers
and encouraged them to print them.
It was little bits of advice I gave him,
mainly on denying her pleasure.
The papers seem outraged by the idea that
women might have pleasure in their lives.
But these intimate pleasures...
- You're talking here of--
- Of sex, yes.
- WOMAN #2: Did she really just say that?
I've shocked you.
- Marie.
- And everyone else.
You haven't shocked me.
You just shouldn't be writing
about these things. They're...
They're not to be written of.
People are looking.
They've always looked.
Not like this.
Not with hate.
WOMAN: She shows no remorse.
Typical Pole.
MAN #1: Get out of France,
you filthy immigrant!
WOMAN: Polish scum!
Go back to your own country!
MAN #2: Dirty Pole!
MAN #3: Jews are all the same!
Marie, may I have a word?
Can't it wait?
She's told me if I go home
this can all be over.
I'm thoroughly convinced
this will never be over.
I don't want her
to hurt you anymore.
I think the damage to me is probably permanent,
whatever you persuade her to do.
Marie, you said
you would never love me.
- Pierre wouldn't want me--
- I would say it's a mistake
to cite his name in this
conversation, wouldn't you?
You're not abandoning me.
I'm not a lost dog.
You're just leaving me
to find my own way.
- Now go, be valiant.
- Marie--
Just don't ask me
to pity you as you do so.
They've closed it.
She died...
so they closed it.
I never thought this place,
I never thought...
what she did had any merit.
You're a scientist.
She was an artist,
or a something.
I don't know quite what she was.
She died?
Loie, will you help me?
I didn't understand this place
and you did, and I--
Can you do what she did?
I'd like you to make
my husband appear.
I don't think
even she promised that.
Please will you make
my husband appear?
[SOBBING] Please will you
make my husband appear?
Please will you make
my husband appear?
Please will you
make my husband appear?
Please will you make
my husband appear?
Please will you make
my husband appear?
Please will you make
my husband appear?
Please will you make
my hus-- hus--
Please can you make
my husband appear?
Please can you make
my husband appear?
- Come on!
- Come on, come on.
Get him out! Go, go, go!
Straight ahead.
BRONIA: So, he's leaving you?
He was... not strong enough.
[SCOFFS] He's certainly not
strong enough for the press.
These so-called nationalists
calling you a dirty Pole, dirty Jew.
I've tried to tell them
I'm a dirty Catholic
and a dirty lapsed Catholic
at that, but...
They won't listen.
I'm going home.
To Poland.
- Will you come with me?
- I belong here.
Well, they don't think so.
France is Irne and ve's home.
Irne and ve would love Poland.
My work is here.
Poland has changed.
You would be venerated, celebrated.
Pierre is buried here.
They stand outside your house,
screaming for you to leave.
[CHUCKLES] When have other people's
opinions ever affected anything I've done?
- Go home!
- France for the French!
WOMAN: Polish scum!
- [DISTANT] Rotten Pole!
Dirty Jew!
Go home, Pole!
MARIE: Your growth is slowing, ve.
Is it?
And Irne is growing
faster than ever.
Well, I've big teeth.
MARIE: So you do.
- MAN: Telegram, madame.
- Thank you.
The Royal Swedish Academy
of Science has seen fit to--
I have been awarded
the Nobel Prize again.
This time for chemistry.
For what?
For my extraction of the
elements of radium and polonium.
- Congratulations, Mother.
- Congratulations, Mother.
And they have suggested that I do not
come, to avoid unnecessary controversy.
Here, let me measure
your head, ve.
Come here, sweetie.
We were so pleased you were
able to make it to Sweden, Mrs. Curie.
Were you?
Oh, yes. The women's
movement in Stockholm
supported you with great
strength and conviction.
Have you all that you need?
Yes, I have everything I need.
- They don't like you here.
- Nonsense.
They're merely having a hard
time separating my scientific life
from my personal life.
Why don't they like
your personal life?
What will you talk of,
in your speech?
Personal things?
The chemistry of the imponderable.
WOMEN: Bravo! Bravo.
WOMAN: Bravo, Madame Curie.
MAN: Bravo.
Some 15 years ago,
the radiation of uranium was
discovered by Henri Becquerel,
and two years later
the study of this phenomenon
was extended to other
substances, first by me...
and then by Pierre Curie...
and myself.
This study rapidly led us to
the discovery of new elements,
the radiation of which,
while being analogous to that of uranium,
was far more intense.
Thanks to this discovery of new,
very powerfully radioactive substances,
the study of radioactivity
progresses with marvelous rapidity.
MARIE: Irne, where are you taking me?
IRNE: Wait and see, Mama.
Stop here, driver.
- Irne, I won't--
- I know.
- Then why am I here?
- Because you need to see it.
- But I-- - You think the war
is something separate to you?
Of course it is.
You think you can't help?
Irne, I'm ill.
I'm female.
I can't see myself being much use to anyone.
But give me a gun and I'll try.
This country is at war.
And the medical services are a disaster.
I won't go inside your hospital.
I know, Mother.
So I'm bringing it
outside to you.
- This is Franck.
- Hello, Franck.
He's had
both his legs amputated.
This is Pascal.
Hello, Pascal.
He's had both his arms amputated.
- MARIE: Irne--
- And this is Gabriel.
I don't want to look at them
like exhibits in a museum.
They are chopping these boys up.
They don't have the
facilities to do otherwise.
It's tragic. What do you
want me to do about it?
You're Marie Curie.
It's time to make
this war your war.
As senior science minister in
the government, I must tell you--
Young boys are dying.
As senior scientist minister--
- Science. Science minister.
- My apologies, Senior Science Minister.
I see your sense of
superiority has stayed with you.
Professor Lippmann,
you have never liked me.
It's not a question
of liking or disliking.
Quite. It's a question of respect,
and you have respected me.
With a mobile radiography unit,
we can be X-raying troops
before deciding whether they need amputation.
Surely you can see--
Madame Curie, all I can
see is an impractical measure
proposed by a woman I
know to be eminently practical.
I need funds, I need access,
I need the ability to go
out on the battlefields.
You must grant it me.
And why, pray, must I do that?
Partly because it is right.
Partly because I am needed.
But mostly, mostly
because I am sick and tired.
I cough blood most nights
and this is my last fight.
And I will win it.
We're both tired, Madame Curie.
Mother, if you could look at him like
he hasn't done you a personal affront,
I'd greatly appreciate it.
- I don't mind.
- Course you do.
You just won't say
because you're mild-mannered.
But Mother isn't so fierce as
she can't adjust her behavior.
- You have a PhD?
- This isn't a job interview.
- Do you have a PhD?
- Shut up, ve!
I do. I do have a PhD.
- MARIE: And your thesis was on?
- Mother!
Mr. Joliot, do you have interesting
observations to make about the weather,
about the political system,
about the transport system?
MARIE: Do you love science?
Of course I love science.
- I love your daughter and I love science.
He loves your daughter.
Let us take your love for my
daughter as read and talk of science.
- I would love to.
- You are impossible.
So, tell me what you have been
working on, Mr. Joliot.
I've been working
with Irne, actually.
We've been working in the belief
that maybe radioactivity can
be taken a few steps further.
Can it now?
Carry on.
In those atoms where
radioactivity doesn't naturally occur,
maybe it can be induced.
MARIE: What have you been working with?
Lighter elements.
Boron and aluminum.
We're bombarding them
with alpha particles
and getting a reading
after we stopped.
If we can show the reaction--
Then you have shown the
possibility of artificial radiation.
This is exciting work.
I think so, too.
I think we like him.
MARIE: I will get those ambulances.
And I will outfit them
and I will get them ready...
but I won't work on them.
And I don't want you to either.
- But, Mother--
- No, death is not good for a young person to see.
And I don't think you should
be involved with Frdric's work.
As exciting as it seems,
radiation is not safe. And--
In fact, I want you
to stay away from him.
But you've spent
your entire life--
Surrounded by death
and radiation.
Yes. And...
they've brought me
very little happiness.
I want better for you.
Madame Curie.
Mademoiselle Curie.
What an honor it is for you to
grace me with your presence. Hmm.
Your exploits are a credit
to France, madame.
We are here to ask for funds.
Ah, yes. Professor Lippmann
has explained to me your situation.
I'm afraid your request
for funds cannot be granted.
MARIE: Consider these as part payment.
Melt them down,
use them for the war effort.
These are your Nobel Prizes,
And they're made of pure gold.
Which is a start,
don't you think?
Madame Curie, these prizes
are the pride of France. I will not--
These prizes are the result of pain,
and they seem to have caused pain.
And I would rather they be
used for something useful,
like curing others from pain.
- Well, I think this is--
- Boys are having their legs sawn off
because of sprained ankles.
My X-ray machines,
properly installed, can save lives.
We will also use radon
radiation to cauterize wounds.
It is quick, efficient,
and can stop blood loss.
- LIPPMANN: But rad--
- Our proposals will give you more men on your battlefields.
- But radon is a gas, Madame Curie.
- I am perfectly aware of that.
And that's why we will use bulbs.
Radon bulbs.
The minister of war
has made his position clear.
MARIE: Then let me make mine clear.
I will go to the press.
I will offer them
my Nobel Prize metal.
I will give them
the same ultimatum.
- The press?
- I know perfectly well what the press is capable of.
And I believe that I have learned
how to use it to my advantage.
Now, will you please give me my
X-ray machines and ambulances?
You're quite a competent driver.
Who taught you?
I learned.
I wasn't much
of a mother, was I?
What does that have to do
with anything right now?
I'm very proud of you.
Thank you.
I'm very proud of you, too.
It must have been so difficult
being a woman
and doing all that you did.
[SIGHS] Believe me, my love,
I suffered much more
from lack of resources and funds
than I ever did from being a woman.
Now, are you still working with Frdric
on his artificial radiation theory?
It's not his theory.
It's ours.
And of course I'm still
working with Frdric.
Now, can we concentrate
on the matter in hand?
Help me with this.
It's very heavy.
Now, if you check the bulb.
And be careful, it's delicate.
Of course.
Get the water truck!
There's been a fire.
We need everyone. Quickly now.
We're just outfitting
this ambulance.
You don't understand.
We need everyone. Get in the van. Help.
Mother, the time has come.
Morphine here!
A red ribbon for him?
We have to make rational
decisions about who we can save.
They say they can't save him.
- What do you think?
- What?
You're only 18 years old,
but you're the most capable doctor here.
What do you think?
I think we should
take him to hospital.
are you frightened?
PIERRE: Water?
Would you like some water?
I hate hospitals.
I know.
I had to say goodbye
to my mother in a hospital.
I know.
So I found a way of making
people better from outside a hospital.
You did.
I did, didn't I?
Didn't I?
I think we should
leave here, don't you?
No, there's too much to do.
Well, let's start
by leaving the hospital.
MARIE: I used to have such beautiful hands.
PIERRE: The radiation has crippled your bones.
The things that make us weak
are the things that make us strong.
- I didn't make you weak.
- Of course you did.
But I couldn't have-- we couldn't have
done what we did without each other.
No, you did the extraordinary.
You changed the world.
In the right way?
I'd rather be someone
that hopes the world is full of light
than fears for the darkness
out there, wouldn't you?
- But I--
- You threw a stone in the water.
The ripples, you can't control.
There are things
to be scared of, but...
there's so much to celebrate.
I hope you're right.
I hope you're right.