Hear My Voice (Film Review: “In A World”)

An inside-the-industry comedy about the cut-throat (pun intended) voice-over wars in Hollywood, In A World is quirky and funny and still manages to be about something relevant.

SnapShot Plot

Lake Bell (in her writing and directorial debut) stars as Carol Solomon, an aspiring voice-over artist in L.A. whose both fortune and misfortune is that she’s the daughter of legendary voice-over virtuoso Sam Soto (played with delicious relish by Fred Melamed). According to Dad, women just don’t have a rightful place in the appropriately male-dominated world of movie trailer voice-overs, especially those for epic adventure films. So Carol has been scraping by taking freelance jobs as a vocal coach, hired by mixing studios and production companies to help actors get those regional accents and dialects just right (thank you, Eva Longoria!) Passionate about her work, wherever Carol goes, so goes her tape recorder as she surreptitiously tries to secretly capture the speech patterns of random foreigners for her ‘archives’. But things are about to crack wide open for her when she innocently nabs a job that should have gone to a major voice-over name, a guy her own father has taken under his wing to whom he plans to ‘pass the torch’ of voice-over greatness.

Suddenly, Carol finds herself vying for a coveted gig as the voice for the movie trailer of an upcoming all-female epic adventure quadrilogy called The Amazon Games (think an all-girl Hunger Games send-off), competing with the industry favorite as well as her own father.  Hence the title of the film and the reason for the real-life homage to the legendary voice-over artist, Don LaFontaine, whose trademark epic movie trailers usually began with the phrase, “In a world….”



Parting Shot

Lake Bell is a name you might know from films such as Black Rock (a Norma’s Streaming Pick film), How to Make it in America, What Happens in Vegas, No Strings Attached, and Million Dollar Arm, as well as TV’s Boston Legal. I’ve been noticing her for some years now as that appealing kind of indie-film character actor who can both stand out and blend into a scene almost simultaneously, and in whose mouth even the most mundane of scripts sounds real, believable and funny, very funny. Another part of her appeal is her looks: she’s attractive, even beautiful but in a way that doesn’t clock you over the head; you have to look for it, and you get the sense that deep down she’s not quite convinced of it, which makes her characters’ sincerity all the more palpable and inviting.

It’s no surprise that her sharply satirical and witty script won the Sundance 2013 Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. My only complaint was that because she writes in such a naturalistic style, with characters talking simultaneously and over each other (as we do in life), it’s easy to miss some real dialogue nuggets, so listen carefully to this film. It’s a mouthful, but so tasty!

Favorite Visual: Check out Sam Soto’s license plate when he picks Carol up in his car. As if his over-inflated ego needed any more boosting, it reads: ENUNC8

SideNote:  Another reason I liked this film so much is because it shines a deservedly harsh light on the irritating and (I’m sorry) just plain wrong way so many young girls and women are speaking these days. For more about this, here’s a great interview Lake Bell did while promoting the film, on NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’ :

In A World is Available on Netflix.

Norma’s Streaming Picks is proud to announce squatters rights on a fantastic site for Baby Boomers, Midcentury/Modern as well as right here at home. I invite you to go there for more great content!

Click on DVD image above to purchase or rent. If you can’t see the Poster, disabling your Ad Blocking software should do the trick!


YouTube Trailer Courtesy of:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZHBjLFu5is

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