Netflix’s “Inventing Anna” is a captivating limited series that blurs the lines of truth and fantasy


Photo from Netflix

Sorkin conned many of the New York elite into believing she was a wealthy German heiress

Ellie Levine, Reporter

The Netflix original “Inventing Anna” has breathed new life into the genre of biopics. It plays with the lines of truth and fantasy, providing a blunt and arguably needed critique of capitalism. 

“Inventing Anna,” tells the story of young Anna Sorokin, played by Julia Garner, who conned many of the New York elite into believing she was a wealthy German heiress named Anna Delvey. The show presents her story for the most part through the lens of Manhattan Magazine journalist Vivian Kent, played by Anna Chlumsky, who is digging for the truth about Sorokin. 

Each episode begins with the phrase “this whole story is completely true, except for all the parts that are totally made up,” which speaks not only to the fictionalized aspects of the show but also to Sorokin’s “fake it until you make it” attitude. 

With a story like Sorokin’s, it’s hard to not get sucked in. Although the pacing could have picked up more quickly in the first couple of episodes, the show balanced out its timing well. This is especially due to their usage of a dual timeline. 

There was the timeline of Kent as she discovered Sorokin’s story, as well as the story as the audience discovered it. This again highlighted the themes of what is a lie versus what is an omission of truth, and how people interpret things in the way that benefits them the most.

“Inventing Anna” featured stellar performances across the board; however, the work of Garner and Chlumsky was incredible. They had such wonderful chemistry together, pulling the viewer right into the moment. 

The show has received its fair share of criticism, most of which I would agree with. It is presented as a “girlbossified” version of Sorokin’s story, framing her  as the hero, fighting against all of the people wanting to take her down. In reality, these were just people doing their jobs. 

However, I think where the critiques go wrong is allowing those facts to dismiss the show as a whole. “Inventing Anna” breaks the barriers we typically see in these sorts of biopics, caused by the notion that they have to be 100 percent sincere and serious. 

“Inventing Anna” is fun and explores everything our culture loves about scammers, like their ability to transform from being like us to being a part of an exclusive and glamorous culture we watch from afar. 

In the end, while “Inventing Anna” does have some low points, I think it is a great pick for fans of documentaries, mysteries and white-collar crime.