Carol Morley has come up with a really interesting idea.
She’s written and directed a documentary about the mysterious death of a beautiful West Indian 39 year old girl (Joyce Vincent) who was a major hit with the lads “People said she was as good looking as Whitney Houston; I thought she was more attractive than that.” and had hundreds of friends and admirers and a huge family to boot; four sisters.
The film is not so much about how she died but the fact that it took three years for her body to be discovered. In her flat. Watching her TV which was still on.
No Electricity company shut her utilities off; the council never chased the rent; no one complained about the smell; none of her friends visited; none of doting ex’s; none of her family. Nobody.
Carol Morley builds a documentary mixing dramatised re-enactments of her life and “Touching the Void” type real life storytelling to get closer to the truth than the police ever did.
It’s a fascinating idea and in places nicely shot with some interesting music (although hardly a career high for ex-Magazine bassist Barry Adamson).
Why then is it so unengaging emotionally? Why do we not really care about poor Joyce Vincent?
I think because the story is dragged 30 – 40 minutes past is tell by date. It’s just far too long.
It’s a shame because I really wanted to like it and applaud almost everything about it; including the fact that it was funded (in part by the Irish Film Board!?) and the incredible detective work that Carol Morley did to unearth so many of the people in Joyce Vincent’s life when the police found not one of them.
In the end, it just makes the police look ridiculous.
And poor old Martin, the batchelor who lost the love of his life.