Canvas

2006, Drama, 1h 41m

27 Reviews 500+ Ratings

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critics consensus

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

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Movie Info

In a small coastal town, contractor John Marino (Joe Pantoliano) struggles to understand his wife, Mary (Marcia Gay Harden), when she starts behaving strangely. After a doctor's visit, they discover she has schizophrenia. Nothing the doctors do helps, however, so John must live with his wife's incurable mental illness, while also helping their confused child Chris (Devon Gearhart) make sense of it. But as Mary's mental state declines, John finds an unexpected source of comfort in his son.

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Critic Reviews for Canvas

Audience Reviews for Canvas

  • Oct 20, 2008
    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 s Super Reviewer

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