"}
Film

In a World…

The real trailer wars

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

“In a world…” Sitting on a page staring at you, the words feel flat.

Now imagine, if you will, one of those deep baritone voices pouring drama and jeopardy into each syllable, rich tones that resonate to the very marrow.

Now pull back and see headphones, the mike and the man, because it usually is a man, with a scarf warming that million-dollar instrument. The one that keeps him at the top of the cutthroat Hollywood subculture of movie trailer voice-overs.

That is the world that 30-year-old Carol Solomon (Lake Bell) wants to be in. That is the world her father, Sam Sotto (Fred Melamed) rules. And that is the world—and the relationship—so humorously picked apart by Bell, who proves a triple threat as star, author and director of In a World…

The exceedingly sly indie has been a hit on the festival circuit. Its sparkling dialogue earned Bell a screenwriting award at Sundance. But mostly In a World… stands as a very entertaining first crack at what one can only hope will be a long career behind the camera. That is where it seems the actress can truly make her mark.

In front of it, at least in other people’s films, Bell tends to play the long, lean, slightly angry intellectual type. Her role as the hard-edged beautiful second wife in It’s Complicated, with Alec Baldwin under her thumb and Meryl Streep as his much softer ex is typical.

As Carol, Bell is completely, and charmingly, out of sorts. Those long limbs are as awkward as a colt’s, the long hair leans toward lank. She is still living under dad’s roof and still intimidated by his overbearing, condescending assessments of her prospects. And no one overbears and condescends quite like a voice-over artist. In Melamed, the director has found an absolute virtuoso.

The interplay between the two perfectly captures the natural—and unnatural—competition between parent and child both grubbing for the same morsel. In this case, they find themselves fighting each other for the most coveted movie-trailer voice-over gig in the world, a female-centric “quadrilogy” that appears to star Cameron Diaz in a Thor-like loincloth. This film is nothing if not specific with its nitty-gritty. Also in the running is dad’s younger protege, a slick womanizer named Gustav Warner, played to deliciously decadent effect by Ken Marino.

But it will take a while for the possible power shift to begin rattling their relationship, because Bell has a few other fish she intends to fry.

Things start getting stirred up when father kicks daughter out of the house to make room for his sexy young girlfriend, Jamie (Alexandra Holden). It’s all very civilized but painful.

Carol decamps to her sister’s, where Dani (Michaela Watkins) and Moe (Rob Corddry) are dealing with a marriage on the decline. There will be dalliances to bedevil things, but Carol’s head is so firmly in the clouds she misses the signs that trouble is on its way.

Her days are spent at the recording studio, where Louis, a delightful Demetri Martin, runs the soundboard and moons over her. She’s a vocal coach, and there’s a funny bit with Eva Longoria, one of a number of famous faces that turn up in the film.

Most of the action is driven by the ways in which Carol stumbles her way into the movie-trailer voice-over big time. Her rise is accompanied by some uncomfortable sex, a little fumbling flirting, a series of complicated family squabbles and the rare look at a quirky corner of the movie business.

There are also plenty of rough edges in this first film that are pretty easy to spot. But like Carol—all arms and legs and insecurities akimbo—In a World… is completely endearing. I can’t wait to see what Bell will do next.

SVCR-0603 Buffet_ 770x150 CW
More Film...
Southside With You
Barack gets the girl

A 20-something woman living at home prepares for a day out. Her parents tease her as she fixes her hair. Is it a date? No, just a work associate, a Harvard law student with the firm for the summer, taking her to a community meeting to discuss “broken faucets and underfunded schools.”…

more »
Hell or High Water
Making them like they used to

Oh, they do not make heartland crime dramas like they did back in the ’70s—smart, ornery, low of budget and high of attitude. Steeped in seedy characters and lousy luck. Above all lacking in the least amount of body fat, moral or cinematic.

Two-Lane Blacktop, Vanishing Point, Badlands.

more »
Florence Foster Jenkins
The flat lady sings

Perhaps she was a tragic figure, or a clinical case worthy of Oliver Sacks, or the incarnation of a dishonest middlebrow culture. But in the end, Stephen Frears’s enjoyable, sentimental movie turns this bizarre real-life figure into a version of Eddie the Eagle, swooping and crashing…

more »
Events
Today
Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

A Little Night Music

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center

Discover Birch Bay Days

10:00am|Birch Bay Drive

A Swinging Weekend

12:00pm|Fairhaven Village Green

Chuckanut Classic

6:30am|Boundary Bay Brewery

Veterans Breakfast

8:00am|VFW Post 1585

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Run to Fight Blindness

9:00am|Cascadia Eye

Marsh Mucking

10:00am|Tennant Lake Interpretive Center

Anacortes Open Streets

11:00am|Commercial Avenue

International Concert Series Finale

2:00pm|Peace Arch Provincial Park

Cirque Literary Journal Reading

3:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Chuckanut Writers Info Session

4:00pm|Village Books,

Sunday Night Fusion

7:00pm|Presence Studio

Village Books Northwood Steak and Crab
Tomorrow
Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

We Grow Market

3:00pm|Northwest Youth Services

Music Enrichment Project Meet and Greet

4:00pm|Piper Music

Open Mic

7:00pm|Village Books

Get Out More Tour

7:30pm|Backcountry Essentials

Poetrynight

8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Guffawingham

9:30pm|Green Frog

Swinomish 2016 Northwood Steak and Crab
Tuesday
Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Hiking Basics

6:00pm|REI

Final History Sunset Cruise

6:00pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Final BIFT

6:30pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Amnesty International Meeting

7:00pm|Community Food Co-op

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

see our complete calendar »

Bellingham Farmer’s Market Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Swinomish 2016 Northwood Steak and Crab Andrew Subin Village Books Artifacts Wine Bar