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In A World... - Film Review

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by Richard Leathem (subscribe)
Freelance writer. Melbourne based cinephile. Fond of food.
Published April 5th 2014
A new voice in cinema has arrived
Director: Lake Bell
Cast: Lake Bell, Rob Corddry, Alexandra Holden, Fred Melamed

We all know those three words uttered by that reassuring, deep voice at the beginning of movie trailers: "In a world…..". This is the world of voice-over announcing, which in cinema at least, is dominated by men. Think about it, how many times have you heard a woman voice a film trailer?

in a world lake bell
Writer, director and producer Lake Bell plays Carol, a struggling voice-over artist.

Writer, director, producer and star Lake Bell plays Carol, who is chipping away at the periphery of the old boy's club, with little to show for her efforts. It's more of a hindrance than a help that her father is one of the pioneers of the industry, and that's just the way he likes it, undermining her confidence at every turn.

It's easy to see parallels between the multi-hyphenate Lake Bell and the character she plays. Prior to In A World..., Bell's biggest claim to fame was as a niche comedy YouTube sensation. To break into the male dominated world of filmmaking and have as much creative control as she has on this film is remarkable.

in a world lake bell
Fred Melamed as Carol's father Sam, an icon in the voice-over industry

[ADVERT]Her alter ego Carol is a lowly paid vocal coach to the stars, struggling to get her big break in voice over work. After the longest time watching her male peers get one good gig after another, it looks like a career defining job voicing the trailers to a highly anticipated film franchise may be coming her way.

The film gains much of its humour from the believability of the premise. The writing and performances are often hilarious, though the direction does sometimes feel stuck in sitcom territory.

As an actor, Bell has great comic timing, a winning personality, and has an especially impressive knack for accents. She's surrounded by plenty of comedic talent, with Fred Melamed, a veteran of seven Woody Allen films, a particular delight as her silvery voiced egomaniac father.

in a world lake bell
Bell with Geena Davis in the perfect cameo

Geena Davis is on hand at the finale in a great cameo. As the wise voice of experience, she dishes out the film's message. It's a scene both real and funny that's indicative of how Bell tackles the theme of gender politics, never with angry polemic but rather with great wit and intelligence.

In A World... has arrived on our shores with little fanfare or publicity. Don't let this fool you. It's smarter and funnier that your average comedy. See it now and in years to come you can tell your friends you saw Lake Bell in a film before she was uber famous.

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Why? A smart, funny and original comedy
Where: At selected cinemas
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