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Review: ‘In A World…’

Behind Sound Proof Doors

Above: Lake Bell wrote, directed, produced, and starred in "In A World..."

Aired 8/16/13 on KPBS News.

KPBS film critic Beth Accomando reviews "In A World..."

Transcript

When you watch a movie trailer you probably recognize the stars and even the director. But do you ever think about the person doing the voiceover? "In A World..." (opening August 16 at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas) does.

How many times have you heard a movie trailer start like this…

"In a world of..."

Then fill in the blanks... love and war... poverty and wealth... murder and intrigue...

Well Carol (played by Lake Bell) wants to be the first woman to voice an epic movie trailer using the opening lines made famous by the late Don La Fontaine, the voiceover king. But Carol’s dad (Fred Melamed), who fancies himself the heir apparent to LaFontaine, dismisses her ambitions as silly.

DAD: You should stick with the accents, that’s your thing. That’s what you’re good at what was that great, that Russian Star Wars thing you used to do as a kid?

CAROL: I know the one you’re talking about but dad…

DAD: No, what was it?

CAROL: Don’t make me do it.

DAD: Com’on, please let me hear it

CAROL: Dese are not da droids you are looking for.

“In a World…” is a charming, good-natured, and warm-hearted indie film. It’s a quirky romantic comedy, a study of a father-daughter relationship, and an insider’s look at what goes on behind the sound proof doors of a recording studio. In fact, I would have liked a little more behind the scenes material and insight into the voice acting profession. Bell's Carol stalks people with interesting accents to try and get recordings of their voices for her archives. She can mimic anyone and has a funny encounter with a woman who speaks in a sexy baby voice that works in the bedroom but not the courtroom.

Writer, director, and actress Lake Bell plays the insecure, talented, and cautiously hopeful Carol. Bell's character may be stressed and a bit awkward but her direction is smooth and confident. She gives the characters time to develop and each eventually reveals a vulnerability or charm to win us over and makes us see them as all too human. The comedy flows naturally from the characters and is often hilarious.

Through Carol – and Bell’s a comic lens -- we get a taste of how the voiceover and voice acting world works. It’ll make you listen to those movie trailers in a whole new way.

"In A World..." is rated R for language including some sexual references.

Companion viewing: "Mel Blanc: The Man of a Thousand Voices," "The Descendants," "Radio Days"

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