THE cinematic release schedules for March and April have been rendered an increasingly barren field by Covid-19’s global expansion. Indeed, film fans were due to welcome the return of John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place. The hotly anticipated sequel now finds itself indefinitely delayed.

Similar fates have befallen Disney’s Mulan, the new James Bond film - Daniel Craig’s last - and Will Gluck’s follow up to 2018 hit family favourite Peter Rabbit. Public gatherings may still be permitted in England but the major studios are taking no chances.

It is not, then, without great irony that the sole major feature still chancing release this weekend is Marjane Satrapi’s Radioactive. Yes, this is the story of Marie Curie: a woman whose unfailing will to pursue scientific advancement transformed the world to her own expense.

Rosamund Pike leads as Curie, with Sam Riley and Anya Taylor-Joy supporting as her husband and lifelong research partner Pierre and similarly gifted daughter Irene. With an ever-so-slightly plodding commitment to the numbers, Satrapi and writer Jack Thorne present every major life event: from the discovery of the elements polonium and radium to two children and two Nobel prizes, the tragic loss of Pierre beneath a raging horse and Curie’s scandalous affair with her other colleague Paul Langevin (Aneurin Barnard). Whether sexualising Curie with quite such gay abandon proves a liberating factor for her status as a scientist, or retracts from her wish to be recognised solely for her intellect, remains to be seen. The jury’s out.

More certain are the strong performances and handsome mounting afforded the film. If the sense that the film lacks ambition and is scribed with a surprising dearth of nuance - watch for the scenes in which Curie’s ludicrously prophetic fears that her discovery could be weaponised are paralleled with depictions of the atomic bomb - Pike and company can hold their heads high.

Without question, regardless of Radioactive’s strengths and more apparent weaknesses, the time is ripe for it. Gender parity in the scientific world has rarely been so hot a topic, whilst great women throughout history continue to go unrecognised.

The cancellation of 2020’s blockbuster Spring will leave many a cinephile disappointed. And yet, those still able to attend screenings should seize the opportunity to support independent cinema and picture houses. Not all production companies can afford to reschedule.