Dreams Of A Life

"Excellent"

Dreams Of A Life Review


This beautifully assembled exploration of the life of a Londoner is hauntingly, desperately sad as it reveals a person so isolated that she fell through the cracks. The filmmaking is skilful and powerfully moving, even if it feels more like a TV doc than a feature film.

In 2006, Joyce Vincent was found dead in her North London flat with her television still on and newly wrapped Christmas presents around her. She had been dead for three years. But who was she? Why didn't her family report her missing? How could someone just disappear like that? There was no way to determine the cause of death, because the body was so badly decomposed, although the police ruled out suspicious circumstances.

Clearly there's a lot more to this story than meets the eye. To piece together a timeline, Morley interviews journalists, council employees and Joyce's friends. Morley also inventively uses actors (Ashton and Luka-Cain play her as a woman and child) to re-enact scenes from Joyce's life based on photos showing a lively, educated, sexy mix-raced woman who wasn't even 40 when she died.

The camera work is sharp and intimate, and as the film progresses, Joyce's life begins to come into focus. Watching her friends react to a recording of her voice is moving, while the re-creations show a head-turning woman who was the life of the party but was secretly lonely. She drifted in and out of peoples' lives, adapted to them, got into an abusive relationship and eventually lost touch with her friends, who just assumed that she had moved on.

Despite feeling rather padded out, the film is a powerfully evocative exploration of how easy it is to get lost in a big city and how little we actually know about friends we assume are out there having a great life.

Everyone has a past that we know very little about. Joyce certainly did, and as she moved around London over the years she always fitted in with the people she met, yet no one noticed it when she vanished. And as her story starts coming into focus, the film takes on a bluesy, sad tone that really gets under the skin.



Dreams Of A Life

Facts and Figures

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Friday 3rd August 2012

Box Office USA: $6.6k

Distributed by: Strand Releasing

Production compaines: Cannon and Morley Productions, Soho Moon Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 70%
Fresh: 16 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Carol Morley

Producer: Cairo Cannon,

Starring: as Joyce Vincent, Neelam Bakshi as Mother, Lee Colley as Sound Engineer, Frances Cooper as Joyce's Sister, Jonathan Harden as Eddie

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.