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Dreams of a Life

2012

NR CC

Nobody noticed when thirty-eight year old Joyce Vincent died in her apartment in North London in 2003. Three years later when her skeleton was discovered, her heating and television were still on. Who was Joyce Vincent and how could her death have gone unnoticed for so long?

Starring:
Zawe Ashton, Alix Luka-Cain
Runtime:
1 hour, 35 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Documentary
Director Carol Morley
Starring Zawe Ashton, Alix Luka-Cain
Supporting actors Alistair Abrahams, Mandy Allen, Prue Almond, Kim Bacon, Daniel Roberts, William Barthorpe, Alison Campsie, Catherine Clarke, Michael Davies, Alton Edwards, Jerome Everette, Lynne Featherstone, David Gibbs, John Ioannou, Martin Lister, Kirk Thorne, Kyle Thorne, Neelam Bakshi
Studio Strand Releasing
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on November 19, 2012
Format: DVD
There is something so profoundly disturbing about Carol Morley's new documentary "Dreams of a Life" that I find it somewhat difficult to articulate my thoughts. Morley's film chronicles the strange case of Joyce Vincent. Vincent, a 38 year old London women, had a normal career, a typical family, and a number of interpersonal relationships that you might expect from someone of her age. Why, then, did no one notice when she died? Vincent's body lay undiscovered for three years in her flat within the heart of London. It's an incredible true story, one that you might struggle to believe is even possible. From the subject matter alone, it's almost impossible not to recommend "Dreams of a Life" as a cautionary tale of disconnectedness and isolation. But I still am so unsettled by the incident, the film itself becomes a somewhat unpleasant (yet unforgettable) homage.

The filmmakers sought out those that knew Vincent in an unorthodox advertising campaign. They found and gathered former co-workers, roommates, and even boyfriends to be interviewed for the movie. With the use of photos, film, and anecdotes, we learn about Vincent. The participants all express a great disbelief that this could happen to Vincent and together pull together a fairly complete picture of Vincent as a young and vibrant woman. All seemingly lost touch with her, though, and were startled by her infamous death and discovery. It's just incredible that none of her sisters or even the rent collector made an effort to contact the woman in the years that she sat decomposing before a television that was still on!

For me, the disconcerting part of "Dreams of a Life" is in the dramatic recreation of Vincent's last days.
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Format: DVD
Now that I have Netflix, I am indulging myself in my passion for documentaries, something I usually have done for many years at the Indie movie houses. I have wafted and trudged through many as of late, which, till now, ranged from mind numbingly boring to pleasantly entertaining to very good. I just watched "Dreams Of A Life", and I'm still trying to breathe. Brilliant, tragic, touching, haunting, disturbing, are the first words that come to mind when trying to sum up this film. Since there are several excellent reviews with which I agree already posted here, as well as an accurate description of the subject matter of this film, I will not attempt to describe what it is about. I will only say that, as a person who had a very troubled, unloved childhood and youth, who had spent years isolating myself from people, that this film left me in jaw dropping sadness, and a certain sense of relief. That is not to say that it is simply a "depressing" movie. It is , as someone else pointed out here...a life lesson, and a warning perhaps about how easily someone can allow themselves, and be allowed, to slip through the cracks. Life and personal relationships are hard, but life is not a spectator sport, as seductive as isolation can be to certain people like myself. I will say that in time, I have learned what for me is a healthy balance of social interaction and alone time, of taking the initiative to reach out to others and be receptive to them in kind. I never knew Joyce, the subject of this film, and I don't know that I am 100% satisfied in answering what happened to this lovely girl. I only know that I was completely unprepared for the devastating power of this brilliant film. Also of note, I abhor the dreaded "recreation" scenes in most films, which almost never work.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
This is one powerful movie you may need tissues for as it tugs on the heart through-and-through. A Compelling and fascinating true story Of the life and death of Joyce Vincent, who passed away in 2003 in London. Her body was discovered 3 years later, with Christmas presents, and TV still on. Joyce was as Memorable and popular as the famous icon Stevie Wonder. How could it be possible, or even humane to find her body 3 years later, and when her death was announced, not even so much as a photograph? This heartfelt story has you thinking in silence, long after you watched the movie. It does leave a thought-provoking aftermath, and how could it not? A life of someone so important, yet no friends or family came forward to investigate her missing. The aftermath we feel is a sad one on humanity, and it makes us think of our own future and what will come about. Haunting, Chilling, Entertaining from start to finish. Highly Recommended!
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I gave this movie four stars, because it says a lot in 95 minutes. Others are reviewing the movie and complaining that their wasn't enough personal information about her well that was the point of the movie! Joyce Vincent has been the topic of more conversations after her death than she did in real life. She never had real friends the ones that could answer questions about who she was. Once they gathered everyone that knew her NONE of the people could explain the full story about many of her major life events. She had two solid romantic relationships where she was all consumed in their lives. She was around their friends, took on their hobbies and never in her life did she express any real interest in anything of her own. She wasn't a real person just a beautiful woman that was desired for being kind, soft, and attractive. She wasn't your average opinionated, passionate, or driven person. There was absolutely nothing about her that made people connect with her in such a way that would encourage close relationships. Even the men that loved her loved that she loved them and became a part of their lives without changing it since, she had no real passions of her own to add to their lives.

The topic of debate was how can something like this happen to someone so young (38 year old)? Well, it happens, because she never let anyone in. She didn't have a "sense of self" to offer to the world everything was private. She also had a series of random friendships with people that could careless if they ever saw her again instead of building solid relationships with those who would miss her if she wasn't around. She had no interests, hobbies, or deep conversations it was almost like she was meant to die in this way to shed light on the real value of relationships.
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