Inventing Anna is a drama mini-series that revolves around a young woman who conned herself into the social elite of New York and the reporter who’s trying to get the scoop on this insane story. The series is now streaming on Netflix.
When Anna Delvey (Julia Garner) is arrested and taken to jail under the charges of committing financial fraud in the millions, A reporter for the Manhattan, Vivan Kent (Anna Chlumsky) takes an interest in her story. Todd Spodek (Arian Moayed) is the lawyer who’s taking on the case for Anna and trying to prove her innocence.
Vivian goes out to Riker’s Island to meet with Anna and is immediately intrigued by what this girl has to say. She is convinced about doing the article despite pushback from her superiors and begins to track down other leads and sources to add some credibility.
She meets with Val (James Cusati-Moyer) who was a fashion designer in the highest circles of New York. He tells Vivian the story of how he met Anna and thought that she was this no-nonsense woman who knew how to carry herself well. He also talks about her relationship with her then-boyfriend, Chase Sikorski (Saamer Usmani), an up and coming tech entrepreneur who was seeking funds for his new app.
Chase and Anna were smitten with each other but as soon as things get rocky, Anna decides to drop Chase and head out on her own as she feels that Chase is holding her down. She had come up with the idea of starting this innovative and high-class social club celebrating art and culture and was looking for the right contacts and funding to get things going.
She was introduced to a wealthy socialite, Nora Radford (Kate Burton) by Val and makes use of her connections to secure herself a dream team of advisors for the ‘Anna Delvey Foundation’ or ‘ADF’ which would be the name of her club. But when Nora realizes that Anna has been running up personal charges on her card, she slips away and moves on to her next target.
Anna gets a hold of Alan Reed (Anthony Edwards), a lawyer at Ellis Reed to help her secure funding. He put her in touch with some of the biggest banks in New York and they all wanted to do business with her but for that, she had to provide documents exhibiting proof of her assets back in Germany.
Anna moves into the 12 St George hotel where she becomes friends with Neff (Alexis Floyd), Rachel (Katie Lowes) and Kacy (Laverne Cox). The four of them go around town partying and living the life while Anna waits for her loan from the bank to be processed. However, the banks find her documents quite shady and are sceptical of approving the loan.
When the hotel, where Neff worked, started asking for their payment, Anna began to dodge them as well. Neff blew off on Anna and soon after Anna paid her dues and left the hotel and Neff along with it. She then took Kacy and Rachel to Morroco along with Rachel’s co-worker, Noah.
In Morroco, the resort has constant trouble regarding Anna’s payment and so Rachel ends up handing in her card as a substitute until Anna figures out her issues with the bank. When things get really out of hand, Rachel and Noah cut and run with Anna hanging out behind and running all the charges on Rachel’s card.
She calls up Kacy and gets her to book her a flight home. When she returns, she tries to crash with Kacy but Kacy shuts her out. Rachel continues to ask Anna for her money but Anna keeps dodging her and making excuses. She bounces around from one hotel to the next, always getting kicked out when she is unable to pay.
With enough information on her side, she finishes the article which ends up being a huge hit all over the world. Vivian is still not convinced that Anna did all this without reason and tracks down her parents in Germany to find out the truth. When she realizes that they had given up on her a long time ago, she heads back and drops the story.
The day approaches for Anna’s trial, and Todd is all psyched up and ready to defend her in front of 12 jurors who will decide whether she’s guilty or not.
Ending of Inventing Anna explained in detail (Episode 9: Dangerously Close):
A trial for the ages
Todd tells Anna that the two important words that the judge will hinge this case on are ‘dangerously close’. The prosecution has to prove that she was dangerously close to committing a crime. Anna doesn’t want Todd to portray her as incompetent or in over her head but he secretly believes that it is his best defence.
Anna contacts Neff to get her a designer for her court appearances. They set up a full wardrobe but on the day of the trial, Anna throws a fit and refuses to get into the clothes she is provided. Vivian is forced to rush out and buy some fancy clothes so that Anna doesn’t jeopardise the case.
Finally, when she does step out, she is disappointed with the media turnout so Neff decides to help her out by making a social media account to flaunt her courtroom fashion and it catches on like wildfire.
With friends like these, who needs enemies
It’s Rachel’s turn to testify and during the prosecution’s questioning, she is able to get out her sob story and have the jury eating out of the palm of her hand. Anna is immediately threatened by this and throws a tantrum the next day.
Todd had tried contacting her parents, but they once again insisted that they want no part in her defence. When Anna belittles him and curses him to her heart’s content. He tells her that if she just lets him do his job, she’ll see that he’s on her side and will do his best.
On his cross-examination, he brings up Rachel’s book deal and TV deal that have been picked up ever since she went through this ‘traumatic’ event. He also brings up the fact that she was the one who assisted the police in Anna’s arrest. Things seem better for a moment.
Reckoning comes for us all
When it’s time for closing statements, Todd asks Anna to trust in his process. He then proceeds to tank her and paint a picture of her as someone who wouldn’t have been able to pull off something of this magnitude. He says everything that Anna didn’t want people thinking about her.
Todd is meant to go on holiday with his family but stays back for the sentencing. Anna is found guilty on most of the charges but not guilty on two of the biggest ones. Todd counts this as a win but Anna just accepts it for what it is.
She is sentenced to a period between 4 to 12 years and prison. Vivian finds herself questioning her attachment to Anna after all this, wondering whether she was just a pawn in Anna’s twisted mind. She visits Anna one last time in Riker’s but it does not answer any of her questions as she promises to visit her in jail in the future.
Also Read: Tall Girl 2 review: An uncalled for sequence