tue 16/08/2022

Sundance London 2013: In A World | reviews, news & interviews

Sundance London 2013: In A World...

Sundance London 2013: In A World...

An affectionate look at the people behind those extremely earnest Hollywood trailers

Lake Bell finds the perfect pitch for In A World...

“In a world…” How many times have we heard this portentous introduction to a movie trailer, in a reverberating baritone whose seriousness is in stark contrast to the epic fluff it seeks to promote. Director/writer/star Lake Bell’s oddball and hugely likeable comedy makes up for some of the pain we’ve had to endure through such promos, by taking a peep into the world of the voice-over artists, whose finely-honed vocals are responsible.

Bell plays Carol, a young woman who is working hard to emulate her father, Sam (Fred Melamed), a legend in LA’s voice-over community. But the odious parent singularly fails to encourage his child, partly because his ego hasn’t recovered from being in the shadow of his late, greater rival, partly because he’s a firm believer in his trade’s maxim that it’s no place for a woman.

That's wot you fink, you stoopid slapper

 Stuck on the margins, Carol bides her time by working as a voice coach (a rum scene involves her schooling Desperate Housewives’ Eva Longoria, playing herself, in the inflections of a cockney moll, with the immortal line “That’s wot you fink, you stoopid slapper”) and stalking with her tape recorder anyone she encounters with an interesting voice.

Eventually father and daughter will be involved in a “voice off” for the honour of presenting a fantasy “quadrilogy” whose title, Amazon Games, suggests an opportunity for a gender revolution. “In a world where women rule, a new voice-over star is born”, if you like.

Bell the actress seems somehow more familiar than she probably is over here; hers is an interesting presence, gawky-beautiful, while refreshingly unaffected. As writer/director her sub-plots, involving Carol and her sister’s romantic misadventures, have too much of a sitcom feel; but when she’s focused on her milieu there’s an original, sassy sensibility at play, at once affectionate and gently mocking, and often very funny. Bell deservedly won Sundance’s Waldo Salt Screening Award.

there’s an original, sassy sensibility at play, at once affectionate and gently mocking, and often very funny


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters