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Canvas

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Overview

Mental illness stretches a loving family to the breaking point in this independent drama. Chris Marino Devon Gearhart is a ten-year-old boy growing up in a small oceanside community in Florida. Chris's father John Joe Pantoliano is a construction worker who is struggling to hold the family together under difficult circumstances -- his wife and Chris' mother, Mary Marcia Gay Harden, has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and while they've been pursuing a variety of treatment options, Mary's condition continues to ...
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Overview

Mental illness stretches a loving family to the breaking point in this independent drama. Chris Marino Devon Gearhart is a ten-year-old boy growing up in a small oceanside community in Florida. Chris's father John Joe Pantoliano is a construction worker who is struggling to hold the family together under difficult circumstances -- his wife and Chris' mother, Mary Marcia Gay Harden, has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and while they've been pursuing a variety of treatment options, Mary's condition continues to slowly deteriorate as she hears phantom sounds, has hallucinations, and becomes increasingly paranoid. While Joe tries to explain Mary's disease to Chris, her actions have turned her into an increasingly frightening and embarrassing stranger to her son, and Mary is clearly aware of the toll her condition has taken on the family but cannot help herself. After a violent incident results in a call from the police, Mary enters a mental hospital, and as Joe begins to buckle under the pressure of his circumstances, he quits his job and devotes all his spare time to building a sailboat, a project that reminds him of better days for Mary and himself. Canvas was the first feature film from writer and director Joseph Greco, who drew inspiration from the story of his mother, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was growing up.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Director's commentary; Behind the scenes featurette; Screening Q&A with Joe Pantoliano and director Joseph Greco
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/13/2010
  • UPC: 814838010052
  • Original Release: 2006
  • Rating:

  • Source: Screen Media
  • Time: 1:40:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joe Pantoliano John Marino
Marcia Gay Harden Mary Marino
Devon Gearhart Chris Marino
Sophia Bairley Dawn
Paul Lasa
Marcus Johns
Darlene French-White
Technical Credits
Joseph Greco Director, Screenwriter
Ed Arenas Casting
Brian Moon Asst. Director
Bill Cimino Production Designer
Bill Erfurth Producer
Joel Goodman Score Composer
Megan Graham Makeup
Adam Hammel Producer
Lucy Engibarian Hammel Producer
Nancy Jarzynko Costumes/Costume Designer
Nina Kawasaki Editor
Sharon Lane Producer
Caleb B. Mikler Art Director
Eddie Mordujovich Co-producer
Caroline O'Brien Associate Producer
Joe Pantoliano Producer
Rob Freeman Sound/Sound Designer
Alan Rolnick Executive Producer
Lisbeth Scott Songwriter
Rob Sweeney Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Canvas
1. It's Happening Again [8:12]
2. Something's Not Right [9:55]
3. Take Her Away [9:43]
4. A Surprise [8:38]
5. Happy Thanksgiving [9:09]
6. Am I Crazy [8:01]
7. Booming Business [5:49]
8. Remember [9:13]
9. Never My Friend [8:12]
10. Let's Build It [9:43]
11. La Bella Pazza [10:41]
12. End Credits [3:07]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Canvas
   Play
   Chapters
   DVD Extras
      Tufts Screening Q&A
      Behind the Scene
      Director's Commentary - On
      Director's Commentary - Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Coping with Madness

    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. 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'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'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. 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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