Dreams of Life (12A)
Starring: Zawe Ashton, Jonathan Harden
How long would it take for someone to notice you were missing? Hours, days, weeks? In the case of Joyce Carol Vincent, a 38-year-old Londoner, it was three years: she was found dead in her flat, surrounded by half-wrapped Christmas presents with the TV still on.
Her body had decomposed so badly it wasn't even possible to tell how she had died. Director Carol Morley spotted the story in a newspaper in 2003 and went digging for clues to Joyce's life, interviewing friends, colleagues and flatmates. The Vincent family, unsurprisingly, refused to co-operate. The young woman who emerges from this patchwork is attractive, vivacious, well-liked, though also vulnerable and secretive, with a tendency to batten on other people's friends rather than make any of her own. In her thirties she appears to have been involved in an abusive relationship and dropped off most friends' radars. The singing career she hoped for fell by the wayside, and her last known employment was as a cleaner. Morley mingles photographs and archive footage with drama-doc vignettes of Joyce, played by Zawe Ashton, though it is the first-person testimonies, baffled and disbelieving, that rivet the attention. This is a painfully sad portrait of an atomised society in which people may slip through the cracks into oblivion, but more haunting still are the unresolved personal mysteries: given Joyce had lost touch with almost everyone, who were those Christmas presents for?
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Oscar voter speaks outfilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Madonna claims jokes about her age tantamount to racism: 'No one would dare to say a degrading remark about being black'
Seinfeld is laughing all the way to the bank: TV show generates $3.1bn in repeat fees since final episode
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl: First look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Blade Runner sequel: Harrison Ford confirmed to return with Denis Villeneuve directing
All fiction follows one of six basic storylines, according to new research
House of Cards season 3 premiere, review: Has Frank Underwood gone soft?
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia