Dreams of a Life - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dreams of a Life Reviews

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Super Reviewer
September 18, 2016
Powerful, enigmatic and moving exploration of s life largely unknown but still celebrated, and mourned. It will make you want to reconnect with family and friends you may have list touch with.
February 3, 2016
Chilling, haunting, compulsive viewing.
December 28, 2015
Truly heartbreaking. She was beautiful and talented and oh so alone. . .
September 16, 2015
Another true story-doco in the form of a feature length movie. I always find these stories fascinating & in terms of the subject matter here, virtually dumbfounded. 3 YEARS?! Poor lost Joyce. Just goes to show no matter how much we populate & urbanize the planet, people still fall through the cracks completely forgotten & unnoticed. As selfish as it sounds, this movie made me think more of my own mortality but I think that's the aim.
June 29, 2015
This is a very interesting documentary. It would have been so much better if her sisters would have spoken about her. This woman shut people out of her life for some reason. It's really sad cause she was probably real lonely. There is a chance her abusive boyfriend may have killed her. There is still a lot of mystery to this story and we will probably never know all the details. Only God knows everything.
½ May 2, 2015
Documentary attempting to unravel the mystery of Joyce Vincent, a 38 year old woman whose dead body lay undiscovered for almost three years in a north London bedsit. The television was still on when bailiffs broke in to make their grim discovery. There was no evidence of foul play. Whilst it's not entirely unusual for people to die and lay undiscovered for years, what makes this case particularly shocking is that Joyce Vincent was a young woman who seemed to have everything going for her. By all accounts she was vivacious, attractive and gregarious, and this was not the kind of ending anyone expected for her. Past friends, lovers and acquaintances all seem equally baffled by the circumstances of her death. Unfortunately, after one and a half hours of interviews, reconstructions and speculations there's still very little in the way of an answer. Except to say we can never really know what goes on in other peoples' lives, and in our contemporary urban environments it can be very easy to become isolated and forgotten about, especially if that's the choice we make.
March 14, 2015
The sad story of a girl full of life and her lonely death.
Super Reviewer
½ July 6, 2014
"Dreams of a Life" is an artfully made and haunting documentary about Joyce Vincent whose body was found in her London bedsit(if Wikipedia is to be believed, it's the English equivalent of an SRO) three years after she died, and only because she was about to be evicted for non-payment of rent. While her remains were only idenitifiable through dental records and so badly gone no cause of death could possibly be found, it is the sort of case that is a pipe dream for tabloid reporters. At the same time, the local MP wants answers and filmmaker Carol Morley puts ads in the newspapers to get in touch with former friends and loved ones.(Joyce's older sisters refused to particpate out of privacy for the family.) Through interviews, Morley fills in the gaps of Joyce's timeline, along with faint glimpses of Joyce herself, through a snippet of her voice and a stunning final image.

Joyce's death comes as something of a surprise considering she was only 38.(For the record, her mother was 41 when she died.) But with all the information given and theories floated, the one I don't recall having been given is the possibility that she might have been using drugs. Not to stereotype any more than absolutely necessary, but Joyce tried to get into the music business where musicians have been known to on occasion use drugs. This also might explain her fall from grace and frequent job changes which she tried to hide from her friends with her carefree manner.
March 30, 2014
A very sad story of an attractive young woman who was found dead in her flat after 3 years. No-one noticed she was missing! No-one looked for her! No-one cared! Personally I think she was going through depression and this is what caused her isolation.
½ February 19, 2014
Solid documentary about a woman who died and went undiscovered for three years. The director succeeded in giving her a soul, but also padded the movie out with unnecessary reenactments.
½ January 17, 2014
"Would anyone miss you?"

I remember reading about the discovery of a 38 year old woman who had been dead for 3 years in a tiny bedsit - with the TV still on. The documentary describes and shows photos of a very beautiful, vivacious woman with friends and ex-boyfriends (one of them describing her as the love of his life) and yet her elusiveness and periods of where she would just be gone for a while allowed her to disappear from their lives with only a question here and there of I wonder what Joyce is doing.
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2014
A terrible documentary, loaded with tacky recreations and lasting three times too long for the paltry amount of material available about the main issue (a woman who mysteriously died and went undiscovered in her apartment for three years). Instead of forensics, we're forced to sit through interview after interview establishing that the deceased woman was beautiful and was "fancied" by many suitors. Great. Thrilling. Too bad there wasn't time for even one legitimate photograph of the death site.
December 5, 2013
Remember this story on the news when it happened. Excellent job putting the real person at the centre of the story rather than her grisly end defining her life
September 3, 2013
Haunting film. Would anyone miss you? RIP Joyce Vincent.
August 11, 2013
the story is crazy interesting -- i really have a hard time believing it, actually. there's got to be more to it. how in the world does a 38 year old woman die in her apartment and no one finds her until 3 years later -- no one even questioned it. she had family, she had friends, she had lovers, she had a job (that she quit?) and bills to pay... how does no one look for her. they found her (her skeleton) sitting in front of the TV. the TV was on that whole entire time. she just decomposed into the carpet... the only way they could identify her was to compare her dental records to a photo they found of her on vacation. apparently the building developed a bug problem and smelled like decay, but no one questioned that either! is that not unbelievable?? anyways, as far as documentary/movie wise, i think it could have been done better; but like i've said before, the story is SO interesting that the documentary doesn't really even need to be anything spectacular.
½ July 6, 2013
Very interesting subject matter but far too much dramatisation.
June 27, 2013
Nobody can deny that the idea of making a film to explain how a young woman could end up dead in a hovel for three years is a good one. It's a damn shame that this is simply a collection of interview with people who have no answers to any of the questions, interspersed with equally mind-numbing reconstructions. If you are gonna make a movie out of this, at least have something to tell us on top of what a small newspaper article could have done.
½ June 6, 2013
Very good documentary
½ June 1, 2013
It was a bit of an awkward start - I wanted to know more about what had happened and who these people are before I could really get into the story. Even so it does take hold eventually, and the story of how this woman removed herself from her friends and family and died alone really got under my skin. Ultimately, this is an incredibly moving documentary, and one that I think will stay with me for a long time. The ending is particularly sad, and quiet difficult to watch - even to recall.
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