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Thursday, August 8, 2013

IN A WORLD... Review

Lake Bell stars in IN A WORLD...
Photo credit: Seamus Tierney
2013, 93 minutes
Rated R for language including some sexual references

Review by Joshua Handler

Lake Bell's In a World... is a winner.  It won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance this year and completely deserved it, as it is a clever, wonderfully-acted comedy about a woman, Carol, (Bell) who wants to become the next voice-over artist for film trailers.  

Bell is enormously talented.  She wrote, directed, co-produced, and starred in In a World...  While the film is a little self-indulgent, it is obviously a passion project of Bell's that really works.  Bell is a really talented actress.  Her vocal skills alone are astounding.  She can do all kinds of voices, accents, etc.  And she's very charming.  She has a magnetic screen presence that makes watching In a World... a lot of fun.  She seems to have put her heart and soul into this film and that went a long way.  

The supporting cast is also excellent.  Fred Melamed plays Bell's father, Sam, a legendary voice-over actor who is determined to stop Carol from succeeding in that industry.  Demitri Martin plays Louis, one of Carol's co-workers.  Michaela Watkins, Rob Corddry, Ken Marino, Nick Offerman, and Geena Davis also star.  This is a very talented supporting cast and Bell makes sure every one of them gets to showcase their respective talents.  She doesn't waste this cast and I give her much credit for that.  On another note, the cinematography by Seamus Tierney (Adam, V/H/S/2) is also beautiful.

The opening five minutes and the titles sequence are the highlight of In a World...  They are sharp, funny, and hooked me right into the film.  Some scenes in In a World... feel like they were pulled straight out of a sitcom (in a bad way) and some story lines follow a familiar arc, but everything in the film is sincere.  Bell obviously believes in her material and poured her heart and soul into this project.  Anyone who can concoct a film with this clever a concept and execute it as well as Bell did deserves credit.

Overall, In a World... is one of the funnier films to have come out this year.  It will certainly brighten your day and make you think about who that voice is behind the movie trailer you're likely watching before this movie starts.


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