POSTED August 19 2013

Lake Bell: Remodeling her career

Lake Bell in In a World

Lake Bell in In a World

In 1920, Lillian Gish took a break from serving as D.W. Griffith’s muse to write and direct the film, Remodeling Her Husband, by contemporary accounts the story of a young wife who walks out on her unfaithful spouse. He comes crawling back when he realizes he needs her more than she him. Now lost (like the majority of movies made before 1920), Gish’s film is an early example of an actress, tired of being the clay for a male director’s vision, who models her own scenario while remodeling her career.

The actress/directors who followed Gish include Ida Lupino, Barbara Loden, Joan Chen, Penny Marshall, Betty Thomas, Diane Keaton and, more recently Kasi Lemmons, Julie Delpy, Sarah Polley and Lake Bell.

In a WorldBell’s poignant and very funny feature debut, gives the actress with the face for movies and voice for radio a role she richly deserves. Long stuck in the limbo of best-friend and girlfriend-of parts (Over Her Dead Body, No Strings Attached, What Happens in Vegas, It’s Complicated), Bell creates for herself (and female co-stars) three-dimensional characters who have jobs, boyfriends, parents and siblings and are looking for meaning rather than a wedding ring. While giving the audience a peek into the folkways of the subculture of voice actors she confidently sounds her own authoritative voice. Brava!

Your favorite Lake Bell performance? Alternatively, your favorite actress-turned-director?


  1. Joe says:

    Lake Bell always seemed very special to me, even in thankless supporting roles in throwaway comedies. And her film, “In a World…,” is one of the most original comedies that I’ve seen in a long time. Ages actually. I was intrigued by how she used buddies from past projects – Eva Langoria (“Over Her Dead Body”) and Cameron Diaz and Rob Corddray (“What Happens in Vagas”) – on this one. Hopefully, it will lead to better things.

  2. wwolfe says:

    I liked her in “Surface,” an interesting sci-fi series from a few years back. It only ran one season, but the producers had the good sense to provide a satisfying final episode. Bell did a good job in the lead role.

  3. Nancy KC says:

    My favorite? Ida by a mile. She really showed she had the cajones to tough it out in a man’s world–over a long time, in more than one medium, and through many disparate genres. No one-trick pony, she.

  4. Lou says:

    Favorite Lake Bell part – her part on TV Series – Boston Legal.
    Favorite actress turned director – Penny Marshall – I loved A League Of Their Own – There is no crying in baseball!

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