FRAMING JOHN DELOREAN is a documentary directed by Don Argott and Sheena M Joyce, written by Dan Greeney and Alexandrea Orton (good combination of both sexes) fused with narrative scenes. This portrait of John Z. DeLorean covers the enigmatic automaker’s rise to stardom and his shocking fall from grace. Interviews with colleagues, employees, lawyers, friends and family who knew him best are interspersed with dramatized vignettes, including a performance by Alec Baldwin – as they all endeavour in their own ways to uncover the real DeLorean.
The doc examines how far one can go to achieve ones dream.
The doc is interesting in the way it infuses re-enactments with Baldwin as DeLorean to archive footage of the real DeLorean. Baldwin is made up to look like DeLorean. So what is missing in continuity in footage to propel the narrative is provided by the reenactments. Whether the tactic works, or whether the reenactments are distracting is subjective.
At the beginning of the documentary on John DeLorean, the voiceover proudly informs that there has never been a film made about the famous car maker John Delorean. In the words of President Trump: “Fake News”. There has been a recently made one, I cannot recall the title of that movie, but certain incidents in this doc, I already know about from that film, like the drug exchange meeting presided by John DeLorean in a hotel room.
The voiceover also goes to describe DeLorean as a winner, a loser, a champion or perhaps the greatest con-man in the history of man. The draw of this doc and also the draw of the man as a personality is not from the good he has done (though he has a few up his sleeve) but his outrageousness and uncanny rise to fame that eventually led to his downfall.
DeLorean took on the car companies like Pontiac and General Motors to design his sports car, to chase his dream hopefully to become a legend forever. The doc highlights both the achievements and failures of the man.
One of DeLorean’s main achievements was the opening of his successful car assembly plant in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The doc is quick to point this out. At a time when the Catholics were fighting the protestants and the Irish economy was in ruins, DeLoeran got the two fighting groups to work together in the same factory with his common goal. The cars were made and shipped to the United States,
Unfortunately not much of the background of DeLorean is provided of his childhood, upbringing or the influences. The missing information would have provided clues to DeLorean’s character.
FRAMING JOHN DELOREAN emphasizes and glorifies the events surrounding the man. Though this makes the doc more watchable, it lacks a fuller picture.