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Stuart: A Life Backwards [DVD] [2007]

4.7 out of 5 stars 136 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Directors: David Attwood
  • Format: Dolby, PAL, Anamorphic, Colour, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: None
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Revelation Films Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Aug. 2008
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001ASPO7K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,505 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

The award-winning drama Stuart A Life Backwards details the remarkable friendship between a reclusive writer and illustrator (Alexander played by Benedict Cumberbatch) and a chaotic homeless man (Stuart played by BAFTA Award nominee Tom Hardy), whom he gets to know during a campaign to release two charity workers from prison.

As Alexander learns more about Stuart s complicated life and traumatic childhood, he asks if he can write his story and Stuart advises him to write the story backwards, so that it s more exciting like a Tom Clancy murder-mystery . As their remarkable alliance develops, Stuart gradually recounts his life story in reverse, his resilient personality and dry sense of humour giving the film an almost tragi-comic edge.

Through post-office heists, attempts at suicide and spells inside various institutions, Alexander is given a glimpse into a totally alien world and begins to understand how Stuart s life spiralled so badly out of control.

Special Features:
Cast Interviews and Behind-The-Scenes Footage

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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The performance by Tom Hardy of Stuart was absolutely outstanding. I read the book first, and was amazed at how Hardy brought Stuart to life with his incredible acting . A great talent to watch out for in the future.
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Very moving insight into the life of Stuart, a homeless (at some point), alchoholic & drug addict. This is a true story about a man called Stuart who lived in Cambridge which happens to be where I live, it's great seeing my home town in this brilliant film.
This is a very sad story but often hilarious and very heart warming. You are endeared to Stuart right away and Tom Hardy's potrayal of him is exceptional. I have watched this about 5 times now and I still cry everytime.
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This made me angry, sad, happy, humble. What more do you want in a film, i loved this so much, i went and brought the book, i am awaiting it,s arrival.Tom Hardy should get the recongnition he deserves he is ONE brilliant actor. Hats off to you sir,
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This was one of the best things Ive seen Tom Hardy in, He missed out on a BAFTA for his performace. Im a big Tom Hardy fan, Great Actor
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Tom Hardy at his best yet again what a excellent film that draws you in from the start to finish. compelling emotional,funny,and a bloody great watch.
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Every now and then, the BBC produce a drama so breath-haltingly wonderful, it makes you want to trot off to Television Centre and press every single exorbitant pound of license fee money straight into the hands of the TV execs who gave it the go ahead.

The man at the centre of this drama, Stuart Clive Shorter, was it seems, a 'convict curry' of contradictions; By turns, gentle yet violent, intelligent yet credulous, polite yet terrifying, innocent yet street savvy - riding the tidal wave of his personality with a strange kind of grace and sharp humour.

Shunted around like a hockey puck from institution to institution and beset by abuse, disability and addiction from childhood, our introduction to the 33 year old Stuart begins when he parks himself in a Cambridge drop in centre and wins over writer Alexander Masters with his perculiarly acute worldview.

Stuart and Alexander become unlikely allies in campaigning against the unjust imprisonment of two out-reach workers, jailed when a homeless centre they ran was raided by Police.

Long hours and long journeys lead to long conversations, as Alexander decides to 'staple Stuart to the page' - writing, at Stuart's invitation, a 'murder mystery'. Starting - Columbo style - with the victim, and guiding the viewer slowly through the horrific crimes which led to the maiming of the man, and the killing of the boy.

Director David Attwood has previously taken viewers on a visceral voyage through Edwardian seas in 'To The Ends of The Earth', and again, does not flinch from the difficult subject matter contained in Stuart's story.
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Its very difficult to summarise the topic of this film, especially because by the end of it, it just left me lost of words.

Its based on a true story. The basic outline is that of a friendship built between a middle classed writer Alexander (Benedict Cumberbatch).and a homeless man, Stuart (Tom Hardy) who's paths cross when Alexander is working for a homeless project and heads a campaign to secure the release of the two project leaders who are imprisoned for allowing drug dealing on the premises.Stuart volunteers his help in the campaign and Alexander so intrigued by Stuarts character decides to write the first book about a homeless character.

But its so much more than this....

At the start of the film the lyrics are "Ive been pissing in the wind, i chanced a foolish grin, and dribbled on my chin, and now the ground it shifts beneath my feet all the people that i meet, never know my name. Just give me something, Cos i need nothing,......

What a brilliant way to describe Stuarts situation. Its Stuarts idea to write the book backwards like a murder mystery "Who murdered the boy i was?"

And i dont want to tell you anymore, i just recommend you watch it, because the acting is outstanding, the story a rollercoaster of emotions, played out in the only way this characters story could be, a tragic comedy.

This film introduced me to both Tom and Benedict. Benedict has gone on to other roles
Sherlock Holmes on the bbc which i enjoyed immensely. Tom Hardy now making a big name for himself films such as Inception, Warrior, Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, This Means War. But by far this for me, remains his Best performance by which others are measured, he truly has a talent in relaying these diverse characters, I hope he doesnt forget his roots and gets type cast in big budget films (a bit like christian Bale). Hardy's believability comes
from being able to draw on his own artistic talent as he reveals in the "extras"
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Ok, so when this was on t.v. I avoided it like the plague. Why would I want to see a televised biography of a homeless addict? FAR too depressing, I thought. And then I saw an actor called Tom Hardy in Batman Rises and he was the best thing in the whole film. A monster maybe but an interesting monster who, at the end, showed his humanity and his motives.

So... I started gradually going through his back catalogue and this, along with 'Bronson', are two astonishing films. 'Stuart...' is a story of one individuals desperate attempt to retain his soul and dignity in the face of almost unbearable pain. Chronicled by Alexander - his biographer and friend,- the film gradually works backward to reveal the reasons for his hostility and alienation to a world that had abandoned him.

Benedict Cumberbatchs' portrayal of Alexander is sensitive and subtle and is convincing as the retiring and insular writer and he manages not to be overwhelmed by Tom Hardys' astonishing performance as the drug-addicted, violent, homeless, drunk. Of course, one of the reasons the film is so watchable is the humour and affection between the two main characters. It was genuinely funny in places (and in true Shakespearean fashion, normally just before something horrible happens...).

As with Bronson, Warrior and Batman, Tom Hardy manages to give humanity and soul to what might otherwise be considered thoroughly nasty individuals. His performance here is simply beautiful and, having now seen it a second time, I cannot for the life of me think why he did not win more awards for this.

I'm not the arty type (hence the introduction to Hardy via Batman!) and am not in the habit of giving film reviews, but I just wanted to encourage people who only think of Hardy as a He-Man and Batman Nemesis (in-joke there for some of you) to see Hardy give possibly his best performance.
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