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Stuart: A Life Backwards [DVD] [2007]

4.7 out of 5 stars 158 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 (158 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001ASPO7K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,456 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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

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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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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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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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 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 is brilliant in the lead role as Stuart, a deeply troubled young man and his relationship with the author, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. The story begins with the meeting between the two protagonists and develops from there, with Stuart giving his life story in reverse as he wants to make it more interesting, 'like a Tom Clancy novel'. The acting is superb throughout this harrowing film, with a steady catalogue of abuse, mental and health issues which have plagued Stuart, since a young child. His innate sense of dry humour leavens the horror he has been exposed to and Tom Hardy is simply brilliant in his portrayal.

There are some comediac moments when a troop of activists, petitioning for the release of charity workers falsely imprisoned for drug offences, camp outside the Home Office on a weekend, when Jack Straw is not there. Stuart offers up some Masterclass cuisine with his 'convict curry' and deep fried bacon sandwiches to the author, all the time giving up his troubled background. The extent of his abuse as a child are horrifying and compounded by his medical condition and chronic alcoholism.

The ending is very sad and ties in with the beginning well. The extras shed light on the making of the picture with the author's piece being very interesting. An excellent and harrowing story with fine acting throughout.
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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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This adaptation of the book of the same name really is a masterpiece. Nothing is exaggerated to try and make the story more harrowing to watch, and nothing about the character of Stuart or his life is played down to try and make him more sympathetic. With this in mind, what you are left with is a very real story about the struggles one man has gone through and what then has become of him as a result. Tom Hardy is nothing short of genius in his leading role as Stuart, no doubt one of the most talented actors we have. This isn't an easy story to take in, yet while there is a fair share of darkness, there is also humour in the way Stuart looks at life. Overall this is one of the best BBC productions I have seen in a long time. If you don't buy this and love it you're a fool!
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