Achieving the American Dream has changed over the past decade or so. Instead of making a good living and having a family, it's turned into getting super-rich quickly along with becoming famous either on television or social media. The age of the social influencer is alive and well and is the key ingredient in Inventing Anna, a new nine-episode miniseries from Netflix that tackles the real-life Anna Delvey story. With a fantastic cast of Anna Chlumsky and Julia Garner leading the pack and a wonderful script, Inventing Anna is a dynamite binge from start to finish as it tells this complicated and insane story about an immigrant girl who came to America and defrauded some of New York's most elite people and institutions. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Inventing Anna is based on the hit New York Magazine article "How Anna Delvey Trick New York's Party People" by Jessica Pressler, which was a story about how this one young girl conned her way into the most prestigious clubs and financial banks to secure funding for her own endeavors. Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes serves as a series creator here and tells a fantastic true tale that goes back and forth from present-day to the origins of how little Anna Delvey (Julia Garner from Ozark) started her con-job. Even with the great, yet small article in the magazine, there's plenty of intrigue and suspense in this story to make nine-hour-long episodes.
The series is told through the eyes of Vivian Kent (the perfect and amazing Anna Chlumsky), who is based on the real-life Jessica Pressler, who is trying to get back on top of her journalistic career from a story gone bad. Much like the article, the series starts with Anna in prison awaiting her trial and sentence, which then flashes back to the start of her fraud run. Meanwhile, Vivian is trying anything she can to get an interview with Anna and discuss the case with both lawyers. She's also pregnant, but that comes second to everything involving this story she's become obsessed with because there is more than meets the eye.
Through the episodes, which are labeled after the people that are close in Anna's life, it is slowly revealed just how Delvey (real name Sorokin), persuaded everyone around her that she was in fact a German heiress who had millions upon millions of dollars. Every scene Garner is in shows just how capable and charming she was to the right crowd in New York. She was abrasive, ride, and spoke her mind to a horrifying degree which intrigued the wealthy and elite people in Manhattan. And it's easy to see how she manipulated these friends. In addition to that, the stars aligned for her to create false documents for the biggest banks in the world to secure her loans and conned her way into staying at the most luxurious resorts and hotels in the world, free of charge. But as the show progresses, it also shows how those people who she. kept close would never really let her down and would have her back with the exception of a couple of people. And this is why Vivian Kent is so interested in Anna's story.
There are a lot of side plots happening in this miniseries, which at times can get tedious, including the defendant's lawyer's marriage on thin ice, but it's all done in such a fluid and fun way, that none of it seems filler. What works best with this show is how Anna's friends immediately grow to love her so much that it's almost impossible to break their bond, even though the whole time, they were being deceived. Chlumsky is just dynamite in each scene she's in. She puts herself through the wringer of emotions as she struggles with her career, dealing with her subjects, lawyers, transportation to prison, and her pregnancy, but she handles it with grace. How has Chlumsky not received an acting award is beyond me. Julia Garner as Anna Delvey is pitch-perfect and is a long way from her Ozark character Ruth. Here, she is calm, collected, and has such an interesting accent that it borders on slapstick, which is so amazing for her particular story here.
In Inventing Anna, the episodes are fast-paced with some cool easter eggs laid out in each episode and allowing each character enough time to shine. Inventing Anna is a story that is too crazy to believe, but it's all true. With all of its dark comedy, mystery, and fraud, this new Netflix miniseries is a blast to watch and binge. Highly Recommended!