Screened as part of NZIFF 2012

Dreams of a Life 2011

Directed by Carol Morley

Haunting behind-the-headlines portrait of the life of vivacious London woman Joyce Vincent, whose disappearance went unnoticed for almost three years. “Riveting to watch and revealing to ponder long after it ends.” — The Observer

Ireland / UK In English
95 minutes HDCAM



Cairo Cannon
James Mitchell


Mary Farbrother
Lynda Hall


Chris Wyatt

Costume designer

Leonie Prendergast


Barry Adamson


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


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