In a world is a refreshing comedy that explores gender issues through an unexpected and unique perspective- the competitive male-dominated voice acting industry.
Lake Bell starred, wrote, and directed this film that centers around an aspiring voice actress, Carol Soloman, who is the daughter of highly revered and talented voice actor, Sam Soto. (Fred Melamed).
Soto doesn’t take Carol‘s ambitious seriously and early on discourages her pursuits of becoming a successful voice actress, when he tells her “the industry does not crave a female sound”. He verbally pats her head, laughs off her dreams and instead, puts his faith in his protégé, Gustav Warner; Soto plans to pass the torch as the reigning voice actor to Warner.
But Carol surprises everyone. She temporarily stands in as a voice over for a children’s movie trailer and learns that she actually books the gig. And then she books a couple more. As her success steadily builds, she is up for a highly coveted job for a movie trailer for the Amazon Games, which will feature a resurrection of the iconic 3 words “in a world”. Up against, stiff competition, all whom are male, she must contend against established expectations in the voice acting industry.
This film has got a lot going on. A feminist comedic narrative, ripe with entertaining storytelling elements: tension builds, sticky situations occur, and quirky romance ensues, but
it contains an important message along with the amusing aspects of the film.
The toppling of gender expectations is a commonly discussed topic but the movie told it through a unique lens that makes the
topic more compelling to its audience.
The only problem I had with the film were the shallow, peripheral storylines. The subplots with the Carol’s sister and her husband were sweet but there were times I felt underwhelmed by their scenes. Some of the characters were not fully developed and seemed to be prop pieces to further the storyline or pass time in the film.
Besides that, I really enjoyed this film! This movie made me think about gender roles and tradition in our current society. The female voice is rarely heard in high profile movie trailers and In A World really amplifies the absence of women in this business.
I had never really thought about the heavy presence of the male voice in movie trailers before watching this film. I always associated movie trailers with the deep, rich, throaty bass tones of movie trailer legends like Don LaFontaine. The only time I could think of commonly hearing females as voice overs were in television commercials, advertising cleaning or beauty products.
Carol’s father is from the old-school tradition of voice acting, the male voice; the threat of her success signals an end to his glory days when men voice’s prevailed and pervaded in the media. Voices that told us what to buy and what to like, but in this world, the voices of women are impactful and of course, can make awesome, epic movie trailers too.