Lost in London

The Evening Standard (London, England), December 16, 2011 | Go to article overview

Lost in London


Byline: Derek Malcolm

DREAMS OF A LIFE Cert 12A, 90 mins YOU may remember the story. In 2006, a 38-year-old woman was found dead in her bedsit above a north London shopping mall. She had been lying there, surrounded by Christmas presents and, remarkably, with the telly and heating still on, for some three years.

Her name was Joyce Vincent and Carol Morley's docu-drama tries to piece together not what actually happened but the flavour of her life.

This is not a piece of film journalism, since Morley doesn't try to find Vincent's three sisters, nor does she examine what police records there were. After placing adverts in newspapers, on the internet and even on London taxis, she limits herself to testimony, often confused, from Joyce's former friends, lovers and colleagues. She also dramatises Joyce herself (the young Joyce is played by Alix Luka-Cain and the older woman is Zawe Ashton) and her family.

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. …

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