Dreams of a Life

“Five years in the making, riveting to watch and revealing to ponder long after it ends.” — Philip French, The Observer

Director: Carol Morley
Year: 2011
Country: UK
Running time: 95 mins
Censor Rating: M - sexual references

Producers: Cairo Cannon, James Mitchell
Photography: Mary Farbrother, Lynda Hall
Editor: Chris Wyatt
Production designer: Chris Richmond
Costume designer: Leonie Prendergast
Music: Barry Adamson

With: Zawe Ashton (Joyce), Alix Luka-Cain (young Joyce), Cornell S. John (father), Neelam Bakshi (mother), Alistair Abrahams, Mandy Allen, Prue Almond, Kim Bacon, Daniel Roberts, William Barthorpe, Alison Campsie, Catherine Clarke

Festivals: London 2011

The discovery of the decomposed remains of Joyce Vincent, aged 38, in a flat above a North London shopping centre in 2006 brought headlines heavy with the morbid implications of urban anonymity. She had died almost three years earlier surrounded by Christmas shopping; the heating and the TV set were still on, her hallway heaped with junk mail. Fascinated by Joyce’s story, filmmaker Carol Morley (The Alcohol Years) launched a wide-scale search for the friends, lovers, acquaintances and family that the tabloids had failed to flush out. Her film is a skilful assembly of subsequent interviews with the willing and dramatisations of speculated key events. The Joyce glimpsed in these sometimes contradictory accounts is no bedsit spinster cliché but a vital, attractive woman whose identity seems to have shifted as she moved from crowd to crowd; in other words, a distinctly and disturbingly metropolitan creature. — BG

“The details accumulate and fascinate… Carol Morley has given Joyce Vincent, in a bizarre, compelling, even loving way, a second life.” — Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

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