Canvas

2006

Drama /

0
IMDb Rating 6.6

Synopsis


Downloaded 437 times
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1.92G
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English
/
101 min
P/S 0 / 1
1.21G
Normal
English
/
101 min
P/S 0 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by pup26 10

Canvas, based on the life of first-time writer-director Joseph Greco, is a film so powerful it should be required viewing in schools and universities around the world. Rarely has the issue of mental illness been so realistically tackled on the screen. The subject was touched upon in such recent classics as Girl, Interrupted and A Beautiful Mind, but Canvas takes a stance of advocacy that is so startlingly refreshing that it will bring shivers up your spine.<br/><br/>Marcia Gay Harden plays mother and wife Mary Marino, afflicted with paranoid schizophrenia. Her husband John, played brilliantly by veteran Joe Pantoliano, is the glue that keeps the family from crumbling during Mary&#39;s frequent breakdowns and hospitalizations. Caught in the middle of it all is young Chris Marino, played by the adorably talented Devon Gearhart. The 11 year-old boy is firsthand witness to the ultimate frustration inflicted on a family by mental illness. Confused yet resilient, Chris takes up the unusual hobby his mother handed down to him -- sewing. After some practice, he is the talk of the school for creating unique garments (fetching $40 per shirt, to boot). A Gucci book, given as a birthday gift from a friend, cemented his interest in the craft.<br/><br/>Meanwhile, during her many hospitalizations, John feverishly constructs a wooden sailboat for Mary. He takes an extended leave of absence from his day job to work on his project and is reported to the building inspector by a nosy neighbor. And as if having sewing as a hobby wasn&#39;t enough, young Chris is bullied for his mother&#39;s &quot;craziness&quot; as well as for his father&#39;s sailboat obsession. As confused as his life is, Chris carries himself with pride. He is a survivor.<br/><br/>The emotional core of this film is so profound that it is destined to change minds and lead to more mental health advocacy. Kudos to Joseph Greco for bringing this serious but still taboo issue to the forefront of cinema. He is a true champion of social good. And bravo to Marcia Gay Harden, Joe Pantoliano, and star on the horizon Devon Gearhart for their heartfelt performances.

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Reviewed by gradyharp 8

CANVAS is an autobiographical story by writer/director Joseph Greco and knowing that fact helps to forgive some of the weaknesses of the film. The story - how a family copes with the presence of paranoid schizophrenia and survives - comes from the heart and is as frank a film about the subject of mental illness as any out there. And for all the inherent tendencies to play it as a soap opera, the overriding effect is one of sharing lives challenged by the presence of a crushing disease.<br/><br/>Mary Marino (Marcia Gay Harden) has been afflicted with paranoid schizophrenia for nearly two years and her disease has affected her marriage to her working husband John (Joe Pantoliano in his best role to date) and her eleven year old son Chris (Devon Gearhart): John misses work to care for Mary and still pay for her mounting hospitalization and medical bills and Chris suffers abuse form his mocking school friends, frequently having to explain away his mother&#39;s erratic behavior. Mary paints (therapy) the same scene repeatedly, hears voices, and finally refuses to stay on her meds, a fact that results in her long-term hospitalization in a Psychiatric Hospital. John and Chris continue to love Mary despite the radical changes in their lives and each finds a means of coping: John goes on sick leave to build a sailboat for his wife and son in his backyard (he and Mary met and fell in love on a sailboat), and Chris takes up one of Mary&#39;s hobbies - sewing patches on shirts - and finds an audience and acceptance and income at his school. How the father and son survive and conquer their challenge presented by the mental illness of Mary serves to provide the ending to this story.<br/><br/>Each of the actors is excellent, especially Pantoliano. Harden is a solid actress but the script fails to capture the essence of her response to her disease. The film feels disjointed and inconsistent and has holes of undeveloped subplots and lines of thought that keep the movie grounded. But knowing that the story is true encourages the viewer to forgive the flaws and appreciate the tough subject matter that should help every viewer to better understand the effect of mental illness on a family. Grady Harp

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Reviewed by jennyhedgpeth 10

I have had the privilege of being able to see Joe Greco&#39;s film, CANVAS, and it has profoundly affected me and my family. I am the president of a nonprofit called NAMI--National Alliance on Mental Illness. It is a support, education and advocacy organization for all those affected by mental illness.<br/><br/>When I first saw this film at a film festival, I knew it was something special and I wanted everyone I knew in my circles to see it. It had such an authentic quality and bravely showed some of the nuances involved in the turmoil inherent in having a loved one with a brain disorder. It changed some of the perceptions that my family had erroneously believed.<br/><br/>I hope that this film makes its way into the world at large, as it will serve a great purpose in de-stigmatizing those who struggle with the effects of mental illness. The writing was searingly honest, the portrayals sensitive and oh-so-believable. You really made a difference, Joe! Best Wishes, Jennifer

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