Film Review: ‘In a World...’ Reveals a Voiceover of Heart, Hilarity

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CHICAGO – One the most familiar movie clichés is the sonorous voice that intones “In a world…” to begin a movie trailer, and then extols the virtues of that upcoming feature. Lake Bell, who wrote, directed and stars in the new movie, “In a World…,’ creates a delightful and gentle satire of voiceover artists and their journeys. Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Living with her famous voiceover father, Bell portrays a thirtysomething dialect coach and slacker, who by chance emerges as a player in the VO industry. This angers the Dad, and the film really becomes about relationships and the misunderstandings that develop when feelings are hurt. The comedy is light and breezy, and Bell the director reveals a sure hand in guiding the multi-tracked story to a warm conclusion. This is the type of film that could have easily gone off track by relying on the one-note skewering of the voiceover industry, but because it dared to do more it introduces Lake Bell as a force who can balance comedy, satire and heart.

Lake Bell is Carol, a stuck-in-a-rut dialect coach in Los Angeles, also living in the home and under the shadow of her famous voiceover father, Sam Sotto (Fred Melamed). When her Dad decides to live with his latest girlfriend, Carol is forced to move in with her sister Dani (Michaela Watkins) and brother-in-law Moe (Rob Corddry). When unexpected work starts to come in, the prospects for Carol start to look up, including her crush on a sound engineer named Louis (Demetri Martin).

The “world” of voiceover comes down to a precious few, which includes Sam Sotto and Gustav (Ken Marino), who are competing for a new VO job for a hot summer movie. Complications arise when Carol’s work starts to be heard by the right industry people, who want her to audition for that same trailer voice as well. In a world where family can get involved in professional rivalries, relationship fireworks could erupt.

“In a World…” continues its limited release in Chicago on August 16th. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Lake Bell, Rob Corddry, Ken Marino, Demetri Martin, Nick Offerman, Michaela Watkins, Geena Davis and Jeff Garlin. Written and directed by Lake Bell. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “In a World…”

Lake Bell
Carol (Lake Bell) Practices Her Craft for ‘In a World…’
Photo credit: Roadside Attractions

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “In a World…”

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