Photo: ‘Inventing Anna’
With being just two months in, 2022 is making itself out to be the year for taking optimistic opportunities to give justice to female characters (both fictional and real) within series and films. Interestingly, it appears as though it’s mainly history-focused; inserting rightful portrayals of the strength and hardships that women have gone through over the years.
Series like ‘Women of the Movement’, ‘Pam & Tommy’, and ‘The Gilded Age’ are a few examples of this wonderful progression of the rightful portrayal of women in history that we’ve seen so far this year. The impact that these series are striving to make is incredible in the sense that history (and our country’s social expectations) of women have overall painted not such a pretty and accurate picture of who we are as people; along with the justice that they deserve after the public has shamed them for so long.
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All that said, Netflix seems to now be throwing their hat into the ring of this fantastic progression of well-earned and well-developed female stories with the new original limited series ‘Inventing Anna’. And, oh my goodness when I tell you all how wild of an addition this series is.
Inventing Anna Delvey…Or Is It Anna Sorokin?
A 2018 New York Times article serves as the basis for this thrilling tale that is stuffed to the brim with mystery and elegant con-artistry. Created and written by Shonda Rhimes, ‘Inventing Anna’ tells the story of Anna Delvey (also known by some as Anna Sorokin); an Instagram-legendary German heiress who took the New York social scene by storm–and took their money as well. Throughout the nine-episode mini-series, the story takes you on a journey as you are immediately brought into the plot right after Delvey gets taken into prison; and the rest progresses as though it’s a beautiful and deceiving friend.
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Ultimately, the story makes you feel comfortable yet strangely somehow uncomfortable at the same time; and even if you know how everything truly turned out in the end with the real events, you’re still left entirely guessing as to how the series will unfold.
As someone who already knew a few elements of Anna Delvey’s story, I found that even if I didn’t know anything, I’d still thoroughly enjoy the series. But, following along with that notion, the series gives off a sense of creating a fable out of a real story and knowingly doing so; which, in turn, erases the need for the nitty-gritty details to make it all factional.
This feels refreshing due to that anxiety about wondering if they got all the details correct being taken completely away, and allowing audiences to just experience a story based on real-life that includes truthful elements mixed with fantasy. As long as the portrayal doesn’t harm any of the parties involved by potentially painting them in a bad light, then a series done in this way seems as though it would be a fun journey to go on to see how everything would’ve played out in a different universe.
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The Invention Of Anna Through Art
The writing and visuals within ‘Inventing Anna’ are entirely admirable. Coupled with each other, they create a haunting atmosphere that fits the scandalous nature of the show itself; all along serving all the female characters in an incredible way that gives them individuality paired with the male counterparts that are equally as good. But, it overall still gives the female leads motivation and rightful power. Everyone in the series has a sense of wanting to somehow be equal with one another, yet still maintaining their own higher ground as well.
Despite the series estimating at about nine hours in total, nothing in the series is dull and everything will absolutely catch your attention. Honestly, I would recommend taking your time watching the series due to this very reason; but, of course, if you’re like me and end up spending your morning binging three episodes in a row and then finishing the series in a day and a half, then I wouldn’t blame you either. However, why I recommend that you take your time with the series is mainly because of how much deeper you can engross yourself into the story and truly take in what you’ve just watched one episode at a time.
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On top of all of this, it’s worth mentioning that Shonda Rhimes is no stranger to good storytelling. Being the creator of beloved series like ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Scandal’, Rhimes has created a wonderful reputation for herself in the world of television; and giving her female characters the respect and power that they deserve is just one of the many amazing things about the way she goes about her work. Now that ‘Inventing Anna’ has been added onto Rhimes’ filmography, it’s clear that this series will hopefully become yet another magnificent trademark.
The ways through how the beautiful camerawork flows perfectly with how the actors portray the characters encompasses something impeccable. Julia Garner (Anna Delvey) and Anna Chlumsky (Vivian) perfectly pull off amazing acting performances, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that Garner knocked it out of the park with how she portrayed Delvey. In addition to this, I also have to say how amazing it is to see Garner in a bigger role; I’ve been a fan of hers for quite a while, and it’s about time she has the spotlight on an incredible show.
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The End Of Anna’s Story
‘Inventing Anna’ tells an infamous and rather mysteriously scandalous story. Anna Delvey and her court case caught the media’s eye extensively, and it is interesting to see how Rhimes created a show that would turn the media’s words against Delvey on their head and form a positive perception of her; whether or not that positivity is truthful. A fable based on a true story is not always easy to fully pull off in a way that would keep those who know the real story interested; but, as someone who herself was invested in the court case when it all first unraveled, I was truly engrossed.
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As I mentioned before, the runtime of each of these episodes is longer than I was used to; but that didn’t take away my full enjoyment of the series. Overall, it just opened a door of opportunity for me to allow me to take my time with the series and not have to worry about binging it (even though in the end, I truly did binge the hell out of it). The beginning, middle, and the end of ‘Inventing Anna’ will ultimately bring you to fully appreciate the series and the journey that it took you on; and as a story that gave society so many different opinions about one woman, you’ll be having a lot of opinions as you watch her mixed-up truthful yet fictional story unfold.
Cast: Arian Moayed, Julia Garner, Anders Holm
Cinematography: Maryse Alberti, Manuel Billeter | Editor(s): Gregory T. Evans, Kayla Emter | Director(s): David Frankel, Ellen Kuras | Writer(s): Shonda Rhimes, Carolyn Ingber | Producers: Betsy Beers, Holden Chang, Jessica Pressler
By Leah Donato
Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.
I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV. media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.”
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