Watch Canvas

"They're not crazy... they're family..."
  • PG-13
  • 2006
  • 1 hr 41 min
  • 6.5  (1,102)
  • 67

"Canvas" is a touching and emotionally charged drama about a young boy, his mother, and their struggles as they navigate the challenges of mental illness. The movie stars Griffin Miner as Chris Marino, a spirited and imaginative ten-year-old boy who has a deep love for art and drawing. He is deeply affected by his mother's mental illness, which causes her to have episodes of psychosis.

Marcia Gay Harden delivers a superb performance as Mary Marino, Chris' mother, a woman who is suffering from schizophrenia. She's a talented artist herself, but her illness has taken a toll on her, causing her to hallucinate and become increasingly unstable. Her husband, played by Joe Pantoliano, has left her to deal with her illness and Chris alone, adding to the already immense pressure she's under.

The movie captures the day to day life of the Marinos as Chris tries to cope with his mother's illness and his own struggles as an artist. Devon Gearhart plays Chris' best friend, who tries to help him deal with the chaos in his life. Chris also takes refuge in his art, and it's through his drawings that he finds solace.

The movie has a poignant and intricate portrayal of mental illness, with Mary's deterioration portrayed in a sensitive and moving manner. We see her struggle with performing everyday tasks such as cooking meals and buying groceries. Chris is also affected by Mary's condition, and we see him trying to cope with his mother's condition the best way he knows how.

The movie has some heavy emotional scenes, but it is not without hope. Chris discovers an art teacher played by David Thornton, who takes an interest in his work and encourages him to take his art seriously. Chris' father, played by Pantoliano, also decides to return home, bringing a sense of stability to Chris' life.

The movie beautifully captures the complexity of mental illness, from the impact it can have on the individual affected, to the toll it can take on the loved ones around them. It portrays the reality of how mental illness, such as schizophrenia, changes the personality of the individual suffering from it, making them unrecognizable from who they were before.

The film hinges on the sensitive performances of the three leads, with Harden, in particular, being a standout. She portrays Mary as a complex individual with a depth of emotions, showing her defiance, vulnerability, and ultimately, her love for her son. Griffin Miner, as Chris, has a natural talent for acting, and his portrayal of the wide-eyed innocence and wonder of the young boy is a testament to his abilities.

Overall, Canvas is a well-crafted and poignant movie that explores a difficult but essential topic. It shows the reality of mental illness without resorting to stereotypes or stigmatization and centers on the relationship between mother and son, highlighting how the bond between them becomes their anchor in the face of great adversity. It is a movie that is both uplifting and a tearjerker, one that is sure to tug at viewers' heartstrings.

Canvas is a 2006 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 41 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5 and a MetaScore of 67.

Where to Watch Canvas
Canvas is available to watch free on Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at The Roku Channel, Apple TV and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Canvas for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 41 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.5  (1,102)
  • Metascore