Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 27


Audience Score

User Ratings: 570
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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 that she never will.

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Critic Reviews for Canvas

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (6)

  • 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.

    Dec 12, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • It's like a public service announcement with dialogue.

    Dec 11, 2008 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Oct 24, 2007

    Rex Reed

    Top Critic
  • Canvas just doesn't sketch a sufficiently vivid portrait.

    Oct 19, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
    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.

    Oct 18, 2007 | Rating: 3/5
  • I can see why it was a hit at film festivals. I only hope it now gets its due in theaters.

    Oct 12, 2007 | Rating: 3/4

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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