Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

A filmmaker sets out to discover the life of Joyce Vincent, who died in her bedsit in North London in 2003. Her body wasn't discovered for three years, and newspaper reports offered few details of her life - not even a photograph.



7 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Falling (2014)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

It's 1969 at a strict English girls' school where charismatic Abbie and intense and troubled Lydia are best friends. After a tragedy occurs at the school, a mysterious fainting epidemic breaks out threatening the stability of all involved.

Director: Carol Morley
Stars: Maxine Peake, Maisie Williams, Florence Pugh
Short | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Carol Morley
Stars: Melanie Beckley, Miranda Colmans, Maxine Peake
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An urban mystery unfurls as one man pieces together the surreal meaning of hundreds of cryptic tiled messages that have been appearing in city streets across the U.S. and South America.

Director: Jon Foy
Stars: Justin Duerr, Marc Duerr, Kevin Riley
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The accident made national headlines: a suburban mother drove the wrong way on the Taconic Parkway in upstate New York and crashed head-on into an SUV, killing herself and seven others. In ... See full summary »

Director: Liz Garbus
Stars: Jesse Temple, Brad Katinas, Diane Schuler
The Bridge I (2006)
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

People suffer largely unnoticed while the rest of the world goes about its business. This is a documentary exploration of the mythic beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge, the most popular ... See full summary »

Director: Eric Steel
Stars: Eric Geleynse, Chris Brown, Susan Ginwalla
The Institute I (2013)
Documentary | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A documentary on the Jejune Institute, a mind-bending San Francisco phenomenon where 10,000 people became "inducted" without ever quite realizing what they'd signed up for.

Director: Spencer McCall
Stars: Arye Bender, Boston Blake, Jeff Hull
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A documentary that follows a billionaire couple as they begin construction on a mansion inspired by Versailles. During the next two years, their empire, fueled by the real estate bubble and cheap money, falters due to the economic crisis.

Director: Lauren Greenfield
Stars: Lorraine Barrett, June Downs, Phillip Froehlich
Documentary | Crime | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A documentary that examines the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. After having spent between 6 and 13 years each in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime.

Directors: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Kharey Wise
Cropsey (2009)
Documentary | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Realizing the urban legend of their youth has actually come true; two filmmakers delve into the mystery surrounding five missing children and the real-life boogeyman linked to their disappearances.

Directors: Barbara Brancaccio, Joshua Zeman
Stars: Joshua Zeman, Barbara Brancaccio, Bill Ellis
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

"The Six Degrees of Helter Skelter" walks in the footsteps of the Manson Family, visiting over 40 locations related to the infamous Tate/LaBianca murders, and tying together the dozens of ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Dorsey
Stars: Ron Hale, Craig Harvey, Nikki Medlin
The Arbor (2010)
Documentary | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Portrayal of the late Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar.

Director: Clio Barnard
Stars: Manjinder Virk, Christine Bottomley, Natalie Gavin
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When artist, musician, writer and filmmaker Carol Morley was twenty-one she left her hometown of Manchester and did not return for twelve years. Growing up in the 80s, she began drinking ... See full summary »

Director: Carol Morley
Stars: Stella Grundy, Douglas Hart, Dave Haslam


Cast overview, first billed only:
Joyce Vincent
Alix Luka-Cain ...
Young Joyce
Alistair Abrahams ...
Mandy Allen ...
Prue Almond ...
Kim Bacon ...
Daniel Roberts ...
William Barthorpe ...
Alison Campsie ...
Catherine Clarke ...
Michael Davies ...
Alton Edwards ...
Jerome Everette ...
Lynne Featherstone ...
Herself (as Lynne Featherstone MP)
David Gibbs ...


A filmmaker sets out to discover the life of Joyce Vincent, who died in her bedsit in North London in 2003. Her body wasn't discovered for three years, and newspaper reports offered few details of her life - not even a photograph.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


See all certifications »


Official Sites:

| |  »




Release Date:

3 August 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Oneira mias zois  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,085 (USA) (3 August 2012)


$6,595 (USA) (10 August 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



See  »

Did You Know?


When the police forensics team begin looking around Joyce's flat, at one point her television is seen, on top of which is a statue of a women, appearing to be made of wood. Later on in the film, when Joyce's friends begin discussing her mother, they speak over a flashback of her mother and Joyce as a young girl, the same statue can be seen on a mantelpiece in the background. See more »


Alistair Abrahams: Everyone has their secrets, she just seemed to have more than most.
See more »


Tell Me
Performed by Joyce Vincent
Written by Kirk Thorne
Courtesy of Nice Music Corporation
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Your life is your life, know it while you have it
2 November 2011 | by (London) – See all my reviews

So wrote Charles Bukowski, not knowing his words would end up selling Levis. That's another story. This story, Dreams of a Life, is a compelling and brilliant documentary. The performances are superb,particularly from Zawe Ashton and Alix Luka-Cain. The film stayed with me a long time after the curtains closed. All of the characters are so interesting that the film does give proof to the credo, 'you couldn't make it up'. Why would you need to with a story as powerful and bizarre and thought-provoking as this? Who are we? What are we? How do we come to be and equally, how to we come to be remembered. What is memory? What is re-memory? As well as these deep questions about the self the film also seeks to ask (without bitterness or blame) - how can this happen? What does it say about society that people can fall through the cracks and disappear? I highly recommend Dreams of a Life, it is a labour of love and this shows in the attention to detail it gives to the people and events that come together to tell this story with such power and such care.

19 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I was reading ideas on how the electric bill and rent may have been paid venus974
US Release? chilaili
Christmas presents smoking_cyclist
DVD? SueBee55
how did she finaly died??? marilenal1994
I don't know what was more upsetting... rkelman
Discuss Dreams of a Life (2011) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: