September 24, 2023


Arts Eternal

A tale of wasted potential

“Inventing Anna” tells the juicy story of the phony heiress Anna Delvey, who swindled New York’s elite out of hundreds of hundreds of dollars  – if only the present had religion in its personal premise. 

Now streaming on Netflix, “Inventing Anna” is based on a viral 2018 New York Magazine posting about Delvey (nee Sorokin), 31 — Russian-born and lifted in Germany — who defrauded financial institutions, motels and acquaintances though posing as a have faith in-fund heiress in New York involving 2013-2017. She was convicted for various accounts of grand larceny, indicted in 2017 and incarcerated from 2019-2021. 

Helmed by Shonda Rhimes and starring Julia Garner (“Ozark”) — a proficient actress who would seem to have been presented lousy directing to conceal behind a distracting marble-mouthed accent to participate in Delvey — “Inventing Anna” is a bloated affair, with episodes on a regular basis clocking in at over an hour, which feels punishing. (1 episode is an egregiously pointless 82 minutes lengthy.) 

Tumble of a phony heiress: Julia Garner as Anna Delvey in courtroom

Each and every episode starts off with an onscreen graphic that reads: “This tale is completely real. Other than for the parts that are fully designed up.” 

It’s meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but it is telling about “Inventing Anna” as a total: this series would have done superior to adhere to the reality, which is previously intriguing, as an alternative of weighing it down with fictional elaborations. The conclusion outcome feels like wasted possible. 

Delvey’s tale begs the query of how a youthful 20anything lady managed to con her way by the upper echelons of Manhattan, but the clearly show seems wishy-washy above what way to take — compensating for this by getting several zigs and zags to chaotic result. 

Julia Garner as Anna Delvey in "Inventing Anna"
Julia Garner as infamous con female Anna Delvey in “Inventing Anna”

The narrative leaps all over in time. It starts off with “Manhattan Magazine” journalist Vivian Kent (Anna Chlumsky) — who’s loosely based on Jessica Pressler (who wrote the 2018 Delvey story) — as she investigates Delvey and interviews her in prison, trying to piece with each other the puzzle of who this girl is and create a dynamic not unlike Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs.” Aside from her clunky accent, Garner plays Delvey with surroundings-chewing relish, a combine of Lecter and Meryl Streep’s snobby “Devil Wears Prada” character Miranda Priestly. 

Outdoors of these prison interview scenes, “Inventing Anna” requires a slapdash journey into Delvey’s previous as Kent seeks out her acquaintances, together with physical fitness expert Kacy Duke (Laverne Cox) and socialite Nora Radford (Kate Burton, “Scandal”), who reminisce about and offer you differing accounts of Delvey. (One pal suggests Delvey dated a good deal, one more claims she didn’t day at all.) 

Julia Garner as Anna Delvey snaps a selfie in "Inventing Anna."
Julia Garner as Anna Delvey snaps a selfie in “Inventing Anna.”

The entire affair feels disorganized, and a baffling quantity of monitor time is expended on Vivian’s her profession ambitions, her sick-timed being pregnant and her connection with her husband Jack (Anders Holm, “Workaholics”). 

There is practically nothing wrong with a story about a journalist and her dwelling daily life. But on this individual collection, no one is tuning in for that. Framing it as a result of Vivian is an sick-advised preference – as a journalist, I can attest to the truth that we are not quite attention-grabbing!  

“Inventing Anna” finishes up becoming an odd title for the show. Regardless of prompting from Vivian and Delvey’s former pals, that question is by no means answered in satisfactory vogue.  

Living the high life: Julia Garner as Anna Delvey in "Inventing Anna."
Residing the superior everyday living: Julia Garner as Anna Delvey in “Inventing Anna.”
Nicole Rivelli/Netflix

Finally, “Inventing Anna” would seem like it is depicting a stranger-than-fiction, but it is a surface area-level, half-hearted endeavor to demonstrate us recognizable visuals – together with Delvey’s substantial, black-framed glasses and cocky demeanor. It is not enough to maintain a collection.

Like Delvey herself, “Inventing Anna” is all flash with tiny compound — presenting minor perception into this enigmatic determine.