Dreams of a Life Reviews

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Top Critic
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
June 18, 2013
Somewhere at the bottom of this story is an ache about the value of a life.
Top Critic
David Thomson
The New Republic
June 13, 2013
Its holes or omissions cannot diminish the gaping eloquence of the situation and the questions that arise.
Top Critic
Charles Gant
Variety
August 1, 2012
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.
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
July 31, 2012
Director Morley has at least restored something of a soul to her subject.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
March 19, 2012
Stunningly perplexing ... while it does leave you terribly bummed out in the end, it also leaves you with a whole lot of questions.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Philip French
Observer [UK]
December 18, 2011
It's a fascinating film, skilfully assembled, and one is inevitably reminded of Citizen Kane and Rashomon...
Derek Malcolm
This is London
December 16, 2011
What results is an impressionistic study of how the big city can envelope a person until there is almost nothing left except what bits and pieces acquaintances can remember.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Allan Hunter
Daily Express
December 15, 2011
It is necessarily incomplete but still constructs a haunting portrait of a woman who deserved a better life and death.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Lucy Barrick
Radio Times
December 15, 2011
She may have been forgotten in life, but Joyce Vincent will haunt anyone who watches this astonishing film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Nigel Andrews
Financial Times
December 15, 2011
It isn't just the mystery that mesmerises, it is the misery or the apprehension of it: the sense of some untold, secret pain that had been Vincent's constant companion.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Peter Bradshaw
Guardian
December 15, 2011
Watching it is an almost claustrophobic experience, but a very powerful and moving one.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
December 15, 2011
Morley's film is a mirror. How much do we know ourselves? How much do others know us? It works on the ego as much as it works on our empathy.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Ashley Clark
Little White Lies
December 14, 2011
Hard to recall a film that lodges in the memory quite like this. Unmissable.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Matthew Turner
ViewLondon
December 14, 2011
Impressively assembled and exhaustively researched, this is a grimly fascinating, deeply upsetting documentary-slash-mystery that raises some uncomfortable questions.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Siobhan Synnot
Scotsman
December 14, 2011
Morley's documentary is as much about our own fears and conditions of connection, as it is about a woman who slipped from sight.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Patrick Peters
Empire Magazine
December 12, 2011
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Doris Toumarkine
Film Journal International
August 6, 2012
Disappointing documentary-fiction hybrid on the true story of a woman found dead and alone in an apartment three years after her demise. A pile-up of unanswered questions and unidentified witnesses frustrates more than it intrigues.
Eric Kohn
indieWIRE
August 3, 2012
Dreams of a Life unintentionally amounts to a mean-spirited snooze.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
August 2, 2012
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
July 31, 2012
Left with barely any there there, Morley compensates with long reenactments starring look-alike Zawe Ashton that are never quite convincing but instead suck more air out of the haunting vacuum left behind in Vincent's wake.
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