Canvas (2007)




Critic Consensus: Canvas is a faithful portrayal of mental illness highlighted by terrific performances.

Canvas Videos & Photos

Movie Info

John Marino is a Florida construction worker struggling to make ends meet, while bringing up his son, Chris, and dealing with the increasing irrationality of Mary, his schizophrenic wife. For Chris, his mother's erratic behavior begins to have negative consequences at school. And, after Mary's hospitalization, a lonely John begins to build a sailboat that recalls a happier time in his life. Underlying the relationship between father and son is the belief that Mary will be better and the fear … More

Rating: PG-13 (for mature thematic elements)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Joseph Greco
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 29, 2008
Screen Media Films - Official Site


as John Marino

as Mary Mariano

as Chris Marino

as Tiffeny

as Young Chris

as Officer Savage

as Boat Salesman

as Hector

as Principal
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Canvas

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (16)

Though Canvas may not deviate much from the formula followed by so many other movies about families imperiled by health crises, it's unusually perceptive about the ways that loved ones process (or fail to process) the resulting stress.

Full Review… | December 12, 2008
Toronto Star
Top Critic

It's like a public service announcement with dialogue.

Full Review… | December 11, 2008
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Writer-director Joseph Greco makes a nice feature-film debut telling a true, disturbing story about a 10-year-old boy struggling to cope with a schizophrenic mother.

Full Review… | October 24, 2007
New York Observer
Top Critic

Canvas just doesn't sketch a sufficiently vivid portrait.

Full Review… | October 19, 2007
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Canvas is worth seeing for the acting, but the disease-of-the-week conventions and hackneyed visuals pretty well knock the wind out of its sails.

Full Review… | October 18, 2007
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

I can see why it was a hit at film festivals. I only hope it now gets its due in theaters.

Full Review… | October 12, 2007
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Canvas

An intimate tale of mental illness and its effects on a family, Canvas has some holes, but the restrained performances of Pantalione and Gay-Harden kept me very interested. Harden was wonderful; one moment bubbling over with joy and then the next filled with uncertainty, showing her to be very vulnerable and yet possessing an immense inner strength. The scene where she begs off an offer to go boating because she's suffered a bad episode the night before was powerful; down to the defeat in her voice, even as she was standing up to her problem.
Pantalione suffers in silence for the most part, and is most telling when he finally breaks and yells at his son that all he wants is to get back the woman he married. Heartbreaking stuff.

The ultimate reconcilliation between father and son is a bit formula, but how could it fail to be?

Some of the supporting roles were well acted - the smarmy boss who had just enough alleged humanity to not appear a cardboard cut out, and the young girl who befriends the boy, from all the coy looks and then rushed peck on the cheek - all really felt natural and real.

paul sandberg

Super Reviewer


Well I shall just tell you right off the bat, this movie really disappointed me. >.> A lot of people in my psychology class had recommended it to me, so I decided to watch it. Released in 2007, this movie was about a ten-year-old from Florida, Chris, and his family. Chris' mother was mentally ill with disorganized schizophrenia, and the movie was about how Chris and his dad dealt with the illness. After an incident where Chris' mom accidentally cuts his arm in a violent schizophrenic rage, she is taken away to a mental institute, where she remains for the rest of the movie. The majority of the movie played out some of the basic troubles a father and son would have after such an event, such as cooking meals and communicating/expressing feelings and emotions.

Weak points: The movie developed sooo slow. Zzz... Also, although the movie was mainly about the emotional aspect of dealing with schizophrenia, it could have been made a bit more exciting. Disorganized schizophrenics can be dangerous when they last out, but the schizophrenic in Canvas was not portrayed completely accurate in this instance. I just felt like overall the movie lacked a main point and I had trouble paying attention.

Strong points: The ending was realistic, as Chris' mother had to stay living in the institute, for her own safety. [I always hate endings that are inaccurate and unrealistic. >_o] Also, the relationships between father/son and son/mother were improving, as the family learned to adjust. The ending had a super sweet scene, but I won't spoil that. Also, the schizophrenic mother, played by Marcia Gray Harden, did a fantastic job playing her role. She was charming, yet crazy, and somehow manages to make everyone watching this movie fall in love with her.

Overal rating: 1 1/2 stars out of 5. Yikes.

Alisha Schuiteman

Amazing movie. Sad story. Really nice movie. So awesome. I thought it was insane that the kid got people to pay him 40 dollars for a shirt. This movie was great.

Michelle G.

Canvas Quotes

– Submitted by Frances H (14 months ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (14 months ago)

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