Today I’m wondering about writer Jessica Pressler. Every year or so, Jessica Pressler produces a piece for The Cut that becomes a cult thing in and of itself alongside its subject(s). Back in 2015, her article on “The Hustlers at Scores” was one of the best investigative essays of the year. In 2019, just over a year ago, Duana and I were obsessed with her report on the “Class Riot Among the One Percent at Brooklyn’s Oldest Nursery School” and I can’t believe no one’s turned that into a Hollywood production yet – at least not that I’ve seen. Because “Scores” of course eventually became the movie Hustlers, starring Jennifer Lopez (for which she should have been Oscar-nominated). And Jessica’s 2018 piece, “How an Aspiring “It” Girl Tricked New York’s Party People – And Its Banks” is the inspiration for an upcoming Netflix series by none other than Shonda Rhimes called Inventing Anna.
We are just six weeks from the end of 2020. Will this year go by without a new Jessica Pressler?! I want!
As for Inventing Anna – here are Julia Garner and Anna Chlumsky on set in New York today. Julia is playing Anna Delvey, real name Anna Sorokin, and that’s all I really want to say about that because if you don’t know the story, please, set aside some time and really savour Jessica Pressler’s essay; the story is... well… it’s so good, it’s the reason Shonda’s turning it into a series. For the same reason Hustlers was so compelling – because it’s not just about dancers scamming rich assholes; it’s about a whole system of scam and fraud and illusion and inequity and degrees of moral corruption. Jessica Pressler never writes in binary – rather she sets up complicated worlds inhabited by complicated characters and if there’s an indictment anywhere to be found, it’s not the individual but more often the system, the code, the values – and neither does Shonda Rhimes. This combination though. Shonda and Jessica… right?!
Netflix has yet to announce a release date for Inventing Anna and production was suspended due to the pandemic and has resumed recently. So next year I guess. At which point we will set aside everything and give ourselves over. Agree?