The Brave (1997)
Johnny Depp made his first and so far only film as writer/director with The Brave in 1997, and arguably demonstrated more compositional than narrative talent. The story is about a perpetually broke Native American man living with his family in a rundown mobile home in a community of weirdos and criminals, who agrees to being paid $50,000 for being the star of a snuff film, and it is strangely inert and mundane, especially taking the subject matter into account. Depp seems more interested in the social environment and the interpersonal elements than he does in the actual premise for his film. Understandable, since the premise itself is so outlandish, but once it is actually there, it needs more attention, more expanding, both narratively and psychologically, than it is given here. Instead, Depp meekens his film, soaking it in fatherly love and ideas about altruism which ultimately look better than they taste. Marlon Brando appears in an preposterous cameo as the snuff film producer.