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DREAMS OF A LIFE is an imaginative and multilayered quest to go beyond the newspaper reports and solve the mystery of who thirty-eight year old Joyce Vincent was and why she lay undiscovered for three years after her death in one of the busiest parts of London. Joyce Vincent died in her bedsit above Shopping City in Wood Green. Nobody noticed. Nearly three years later, her flat was forced into by authorities due to lack of rent payment. Her skeleton was found surrounded by Christmas presents that she was in the process of wrapping. Her television was still on.
The story that is told in Carol Morley's new documentary "Dreams of a Life" is one many might find hard to believe. I mean this is the 21st century, with all the social media sites and such today one might think it's impossible to be left alone let a lone be forgotten about. Or is it the social media sites and just being too busy with our own lives that causes something this unthinkable to happen?
"Dreams of a Life" tells the story of Joyce Vincent. Joyce was a 38 year old London women who seemed to live a normal life, She had a career, a family including sisters and a number of boyfriends during her time which is expected considering how beautiful she was. So why is it that no one noticed she had died? Her body lay there for three years before it was discovered in her apartment she was renting with her gas and electricity still on. her TV was still on when she was finally found so decomposed they had to use her teeth to identify her. This is a shocking true story that I still find hard to believe even after seeing the film, where was the landlord all this time? Where I live if you pay your light bill they shut it off and who where the Christmas gifts Joyce was wrapping at the time for? Weren't those people worried about how she was doing for so long? There are so many unanswered questions, ones I guess we will never know the answers to but I can tell you that this is a fascinating story but it's also sad, tragic and disturbing.
The film is presented through interviews of past boyfriends and those who were her friends, Joyce was an inspiring singer so the film is also filmed with music and they also reenact part of Joyce's final days. Zawe Ashton does an amazing job playing Joyce in the film and the rest of the cast were just as impressive. Writer/Director, Carol Morley spent 5 years of her life getting the film made between researching and getting funds for the film. She poured her heart and soul into getting this film out there to tell Joyce's story and it shows.
I really hate to use the word incredible here to describe such a heart wrenching story but that's what it is. "Dreams of a Life" is a film that effected me long after it was over and it's sure to touch everyone that sees it. If there's anything good that comes from this sad story it's that maybe it's time we all take a step back from our own little world and communicate more with others. I know I will be sure to stop by my neighbors this week and check on them.
Available now, the DVD comes with Special Features that include
Behind The Scenes
Original Theatrical Trailer
Released by Strand Releasing
***** Out Of *****