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Canvas

Canvas (2007)

tomatometer

75

Average Rating: 6.5/10
Reviews Counted: 28
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 7

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

71

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 5

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

audience

60

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 544

My Rating

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

PG-13,

Drama

Joseph Greco

Jan 29, 2008

Screen Media Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (28) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (7) | DVD (2)

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.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's like a public service announcement with dialogue.

December 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A pair of well-shaded performances by Joe Pantoliano and Marcia Gay Harden dignifies a sincere but innocuous look at a blue-collar husband's struggle with his wife's schizophrenia.

January 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop 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.

October 24, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Canvas just doesn't sketch a sufficiently vivid portrait.

October 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop 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.

October 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's worth hanging on for where Greco goes with this.

January 9, 2009
Montreal Gazette

Movies don't come more personal than Canvas, writer/director/co-producer Joseph Greco's serious-minded exploration of the devastating effects unleashed by mental illness upon an otherwise tightly knit American family.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Metro

There is something to be said for a filmmaker like Greco who takes the truth -- no matter how tough it is -- and turns it into a compelling drama about people we might know in life.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

[A] strong first feature.

April 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

If it weren't for the terrific performances, Canvas would be a dull and lifeless film; Marcia Gay Harden explores the schizophrenic character of Mary with a judicial technique that is both compassionate and credible.

November 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Greco succeeds where many others have failed in giving a real sense of what it is to grow up with a parent who's hobbled by mental illness.

October 12, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Greco takes his biggest risk, perhaps, when he puts that boat in water with father and son manning the sails. It could be a mawkish scene that sinks everything that came before it, but like the watercraft that symbolizes so much, the movie remains afloat.

October 12, 2007
Reel.com

Small and slow-moving, and not in a way that means finely detailed and pensive.

October 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

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.
October 20, 2008
maxthesax
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

    1. Chris Marino: Why can't you act normal?
    2. Mary Marino: You're a big boy now, you're a young man now. There's something wrong with me. But I think it's treatable.
    – Submitted by Frances H (26 days ago)
    1. Chris Marino: It's still happening, isn't it?
    – Submitted by Frances H (26 days ago)
View all quotes (2)

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