Framing John DeLorean (2019)

Framing John DeLorean

As much as I love movies, it’s hard to see them in the evening during a work week. Checking out the Pittsburgh Filmmakers website to see July’s offerings, one movie caught my eye and I decided to make time to see it at the local art house theater. That movie was Framing John DeLorean.

Framing John DeLorean is a documentary that recounts the titan of the car industry’s rise at General Motors, his falling out with them, his dream of starting his own car company, and his fall from grace after his drug arrest. Interspersed throughout the documentary are reenactments of real-life events with John DeLorean portrayed by Alec Baldwin, his friend and engineer Bill Collins (Josh Charles), and supermodel and wife Cristina Ferrare (Morena Baccarin).

Framing John DeLorean has a dual meaning. On one hand, it relates to the long-believed theory that his arrest was orchestrated by the U.S. Government to show that Ronald Regan’s newly enacted War on Drugs was a triumph for the President and the country. On the other hand, the framing is a point of reference to spotlight the man we may have overlooked, that of family man and of a company owner who did what he could to keep his business afloat; to help his workers maintain their livelihood.

For many years, there has been a slate of movies written but unproduced on the life and legend of John DeLorean. Alec Baldwin is a fine choice as DeLorean, but I must let you know now that this is a complete 180 from his ‘animated’ role as Donald Trump on SNL. In Baldwin’s portrayal, you can see the fire and passion that drove DeLorean to be the top of his field, but you can see the pain and failure when his dream begins to slip away and spiral out of control.

As an avid lover of history and the decade that was the 1980’s, I was in my glory and fully entranced for the two-hour run time. This comes highly recommended from me. This is a cautionary tale on how the American Dream can turn into a nightmare. Whatever you think you know about DeLorean, put those feelings and opinions aside and watch this documentary to get the whole story.