In A World... (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner16/09/2013

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 93 mins

Actress Lake Bell makes an impressive writing-directing debut with In A World, an engaging and frequently funny comedy with a superb comic cast, likeable characters and a refreshingly different setting.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by actress Lake Bell (hitherto best known for film-stealing supporting roles in films like What Happens In Vegas), In A World is a Hollywood comedy set in the cutthroat world of the trailer voiceover business where, following the death of real-life industry legend Don LaFontaine (who was the go-to guy for Sci-Fi themed trailers booming the film's title phrase), Sam Soto (Fred Melamed) is the new king of the castle. Pompous Sam is dismissive of his voice dialect coach daughter Carol (Bell) when she gets her first voiceover gig but when he hears she might get to utter the words ‘In A World...’ on a trailer for a new futuristic franchise, he goes out of his way to beat both her and his friend/rival Gustav (Ken Marino) to the job.

Meanwhile, things get complicated for Carol when she hooks up with Gustav after a party (without him knowing she's his business rival or Sam's daughter), unaware that her friend and co-worker Louis (Demetri Martin) is nursing a huge crush on her. At the same time, Carol's sister Dani (Michaela Watkins) and her husband Moe (Rob Corddry) have a crisis of their own after Sam kicks Carol out and she moves in with them.

The Good
In In A World, Bell has surrounded herself with a top-notch supporting cast and she gets terrific performances out of each and every one of them, particularly Melamed (who still carries shades of A Serious Man's monstrous Sy Ableman), Watkins, Martin and Alexandra Holden (as Jamie, Sam's new girlfriend), while there are strong comic contributions from the likes of Nick Offerman (as a straight-talking colleague), Marino and Corddry. Bell herself delivers a charmingly self-deprecating and enormously likeable performance, but it's a testament to her generosity as a writer-director that she allows so many others in the cast to shine too, expertly juggling and paying off a number of involving sub-plots.

The Great
The voiceover industry setting gives In A World a refreshingly different feel and allows Bell to explore both father-daughter conflicts and women-in-a-male-dominated-business issues in intriguing ways that neatly sidestep many of the usual clichés. In addition, the witty script crackles with great dialogue and there are some wonderful surprise cameos that it would be churlish to reveal here.

One particularly interesting aspect is Bell's warm-hearted treatment of minor characters that could easily have been written as objects of ridicule, something Bell goes out of her way to quietly subvert here, both with Holden's character and the film's final scene.

Worth seeing?
In A World is a charming, likeable and frequently funny comedy that marks Lake Bell out as a writer-director to watch. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

In A World... (15)
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Content updated: 16/12/2017 20:30

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