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  • Summary: 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? Dreams of a Life attempts to answer this question through testimonies from Joyce’s former friends, lovers and colleagues combined with re-imagined scenes, providing insight into her life and tragic death. (Strand Releasing) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Charles Gant
    Aug 2, 2012
    90
    A riveting tale of a onetime vivacious personality, described by those who knew her as "stunning," "lovely," and "very well liked," but who nevertheless died alone, friendless and seemingly missed by nobody.
  2. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Jul 31, 2012
    80
    Director Morley has at least restored something of a soul to her subject.
  3. Reviewed by: Patrick Peters
    Jul 30, 2012
    80
    This barely conceivable story of neglect and loneliness is given heartbreaking new life by Morley, with Zawe Ashton standing in effectively for the tragic young singer.
  4. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Aug 1, 2012
    80
    Carol Morley's sadly fascinating Dreams of a Life, which plays like a more artful cousin to TV's true-crime documentaries, slowly assembles a portrait of Vincent, unfolding in a way that should earn fans in its niche theatrical run.
  5. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Jul 30, 2012
    63
    Dreams of a Life succeeds in making its point about the unkowability of the people in our lives, but there isn't quite enough substance here to fully sustain the film.
  6. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Aug 2, 2012
    50
    For all its subtext about identity and London's social fabric, Dreams of a Life leaves too many blanks and is ultimately more frustrating than rewarding.
  7. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Aug 2, 2012
    42
    Dreams of a Life unintentionally amounts to a mean-spirited snooze.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jul 31, 2013
    8
    Ethically, it's a good movie because it shows us the humanity of those forgotten/isolated by society. It's a humane mission to try and examine what can make a person's life so empty they end up dying young and alone. One of the central elements is dreams of pop stardom. Dreams that have no real connection to what society can 'do for us'. In that way the life dreamed for was not achievable and the result was a collapsed void of a sleep. Maybe someone could have 'woken her up' by instilling truly a more natural and fulfilling dream. Aesthetically, it's a good movie because the images are well shot and the soundtrack is memorable. For anyone interested in how isolation happens, it's good. It doesn't provide an answer, so you may find yourself wasting your time. I guess the (positive) message is that there are not necessarily any reason or any monsters. It 'just happened'. But knowing it can go this way by nature, we should engage in our neighbours' lives and keep things on track for the better. Expand

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