Review: In a World…

Sundance 2013 Best Screenplay winning film “In a World…” is a funny, real and intelligent indie feature film début by the very talented 34 year old actress Lake Bell, who directed, wrote and produced this film inspired by the 99% of the movie trailers today are narrated in male voice, and it is time to make some changes without being feminist.


Carol(Lake Bell), is a voiceover actress and voice coach who is obsessed by all kind of accents, but doesn’t have much of work and has been kicked out by her father Sam, a famous voiceover artist who is going to receive a life time achievement award. The jobless and homeless Carol squats at her sister Dani’s home, where Dani’s husband Moe is a talented but unsuccessful writer. Dani helps Carol to record the voice of a charming Irishman Mr. Pouncer(Jason O’Mara), while Moe is flirting with a beautiful English neighbor. Gustav(Ken Marino), another famous voiceover artist hosts a Hollywood party, that Carol’s admirer Louis(Demetri Martin), a voice recording engineer who hooks her up for a big job which might be a revolutionary change in the voiceover industry. Louis plans to ask Carol to be his date to the party, but Carol accidentally sleep with Gustav, who later founds out that the woman he slept with is actually the one who stole his big job.


In the beginning of the film, Carol’s father Sam tells her that he’s not being sexist but the truth is that the industry just don’t crave for the female voice, and when Sam learned that Carol has been picked for the big job over Gustav, he acts in jealousy, also recommend himself for the job with the goal to have the movie studio to drop his daughter. There is some moments that we see Carol being ignored not only by the industry but also being patronised and denied by her own father. Lake Bell smartly mix drama in this very well written comedy.


Indeed, traditionally a female voice doesn’t automatically represent the authority, and many women deliberately use their sexy baby voice to manipulate or to be manipulated. Which shows that a strong male voice sounds, and pierce better to narrate an action scene and a female voice is often better to tell a children’s story or a romantic comedy. Doesn’t it sound ridiculous that women’s social status still is not equal to men since the 60s?


The title “In a World…” is the famous starting phrase for many movie trailers with the celebrate voice of Don LaFontaine that we’re all so very used to hear when a magical movie trailer caught our attention. But today, when the female characters are taking more and more importance in the action movies, a female voiceover should have more opportunities to narrate movie trailers, even though movie trailers today has tendency to require less and less voiceover.

– Shumaï Chou