(out of 5)
Authorities pounding on the door of Joyce Vincent’s flat were determined to get into her apartment and demand the rent she had not paid in three years. What they found was truly bizarre: Vincent’s skeleton was seated in front of her television, which was still on, and the presents she had been wrapping when she died were next to her waiting to be finished. This lead to a search for people who knew Vincent and could shed some light on who she was and how she could possibly have died and gone unnoticed for three years. Carol Morley’s documentary interviews the people in her life and inserts unnecessary dramatic recreations of Vincent’s life to an incredibly frustrating exercise in avoidance that persistently misses the mark. What this story could possibly tell us about the impersonal nature of urban living and its effect on relationships could be staggering, but Morley has no sense for the interesting parts of her subjects’ conversation, always seeming to catch them before and after they’ve given us the stuff we really want to know.
Directed by Carol Morley
Screenplay by Carol Morley
Music by Barry Adamson
Production Design by Chris Richmond
Costume Design by Leonie Prendergast
Film Editing by Chris Wyatt