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by maryann johanson, liberal movie person

Canvas (review)

Recipient of numerous film festival awards and praised by mental health experts for its authentic and humanistic portrayal of schizophrenia, this modest film is a must-see for its honesty and its fine, graceful performances. Ten-year-old Chris (affable newcomer Devon Gearhart) just wants his mom (a heartbreaking Marcia Gay Harden: The Mist), who suffers from delusional paranoia and explosive mood swings, to be normal and not all “weird,” but it’s much worse when she’s forced to retreat to a mental hospital and Chris is left alone with his father (Joe Pantoliano: Bad Boys II), who can barely handle his own grief, never mind his son’s. Writer-director Joseph Greco based this tale of finding a way to be a family on his own childhood, and the ring of truth under its gentle and unpretentious surface is brutal. Extras include director’s commentary, a making-of featurette, and a Q&A with Pantoliano and Greco.

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MPAA: rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements, sexual content and some violent images

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb

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