“Inventing Anna” features a fictionalized story of a real con heiress

You might recognize Emmy-winning Julia Garner’s face and distinctly nasal voice from “Ozark,” but in all nine episodes of “Inventing Anna,” she plays the enigmatic con artist Anna Sorokin – aka Ann Delvey. .

For years cheeky Anna posed as the daughter of a German tycoon, gliding through Manhattan’s lavish hotels, restaurants and nightclubs dressed in high fashion. Posing as an heiress, she skillfully befriended socialites, high fashion designers and wealthy tech moguls.

Told in flashbacks, the mysterious story of manipulative, 20-something Anna is investigated by Vivian Kent (Anna Chlumsky), a whiny, heavily pregnant writer who desperately trying to restore his tarnished journalistic reputation.

Encouraged by older colleagues (Anna Devere Smith, Terry Kinney, Jeff Perry) banished to “Scriberia”, Vivian interviews Anna who is being held without bail on Riker’s Island, awaiting trial.

To research Anna’s background, Vivian tracks down former friends, colleagues and gullible victims, including a photo editor (Katie Lowes), a banker (Alan Reed), a fitness trainer (Laverne Cox) and a janitor. boutique hotel (Alexis Floyd), as well as Anna’s lawyer (Arian Moayed) and her boyfriend (Saamer Usmani).

Struggling with a bizarre Slavic/Germanic accent, Garner imbues Anna with a mocking, haughty impatience and icy indifference. Confident and calculating, Anna converts every conversation into a fraudulent transaction. By contrast, Anna Chlumsky’s Vivian is clumsily boring.

Produced by the prolific Shonda Rhimes (“Grey’s Anatomy”), the stereotypical and fictional series uses social media as both metaphor and narrative device. It explores how influencers use Instagram to hide in plain sight, as the slow build expands again and again, repeating the warning: “The whole story is completely true – except for all the parts that are totally made up.”

FYI: “How an Aspiring ‘It’ Girl Tricked New York’s Party People – and its Banks” by Jessica Pressler was published in New York magazine in May 2018. Currently, Anna is still in the custody of Immigration and US Customs Enforcement, fighting deportation to Germany. Apparently, Netflix paid Anna $320,000; in turn, she paid $198,000 in restitution, $24,000 in state taxes, and $75,000 in attorney fees.

On the Granger Gauge from 1 to 10, “Inventing Anna” is a sneakily stealthy and rogue 6, streaming on Netflix.

Susan Granger has been a television and radio commentator and entertainment critic for over 25 years. Raised in Hollywood, Granger appeared as a child actress in films with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball and Lassie. She currently resides in Westport.

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