In A World... (15)

Directed by Lake Bell
FACT, Liverpool
13th September - 19th September 2013

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

I am someone who actively shuns TV commercials and film trailers, so watching a movie centred on the world of Hollywood voice-overs was pretty alien to me.

Lake Bell, a name I had never come across before, excels as director, producer and writer, as well as being the principal actress.

She battles, among a pack of males, to replace the so-called 'The Voice Of God', Don LaFontaine, who was the kingpin of voice-overs for advertisements and trailers for various blockbusters, including horror 'epics.'

LaFontaine, who died in 2008, was the voice actor famous for recording more than 5000 films and hundreds of thousands of TV adverts.

Archive footage is included of LaFontaine during the opening credits of the film.

The natural successor to LaFontaine appears likely to be Sam Soto (Fred Melamed) the father of Lake's character, Carol Solomon, herself a somewhat lower ranked voice-over practitioner and voice coach. But things do not work out as expected.

In a very funny movie, full of astute character studies, particularly the macho world of Tinsel Town, Lake lays open the pretentiousness and pomposity of the voice-over cattle market.

A series of four films, titled The Amazon Games - a massive epic - is about to be released and the race is on to determine who will win the coveted prize of enunciating the voice-overs.

Power struggles then ensue, with Solomon, despite her dad being incandescent at the thought that she, a woman, would even consider putting herself among the contenders.

Despite my ignorance about the world of voice-overs before seeing this film, Bell has given a vivid insight into the backstabbing and narcisstic manoeuvring rampant within that industry and to the greater monster, Hollywood itself.

In a poignant closing scene, Carol is engaged in giving instructions during an introductory coaching class to a group of various high shrilled young women.

"I am going to teach you how not to sound like sexy baby dolls." she informs them."Because you're better than that, and women should speak like women. They should stand up and make their voices heard."

Bell has certainly done so with this film!

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