“In a World …” a funny, pointed look at a mostly male industry


Because I did not want to wait an hour to see “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” I saw “In a World…”, writer/actor Lake Bell’s directorial debut that premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. What a pleasant surprise.

Carol (Lake Bell) is an employment-challenged voice coach and daughter of a famous movie trailer voice-over narrator, Sam (Fred Melamed). Up to this point, her voice-over work is limited to training actors to speak in foreign accents. Sam is ready to retire with his very young girlfriend, Jamie (Alexandra Holden), and kicks Carol out of the house. He names the conceited Gustav Warner (Ken Marino) his heir apparent to deliver the words of impending doom and disaster in deep somber tones for movie previews, the kind that begin, “In a world…”

Sam dismisses his daughter entirely as his replacement, telling her, “Let’s face it. The industry does not crave a female sound. It’s not sexist. It’s just the way it is.” He enjoys reminiscing with other voice-over actors about their past exploits in the recording business, especially recalling the legacy of Don LaFontaine (1940-2008), the king of movie trailer announcers who coined the intro line “In a world…”

By chance, a studio executive hears Carol’s voice, and she is hired to voice-over the trailers for a series of films based on a series of young adult books about female warriors: “The Amazon Games.” Carol can …. CLICK HERE to continue reading on my blog at the National Catholic Reporter

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