You can see from the cover on the right that my second favorite actor, Mr. Benedict Cumberbatch is one of the casts…therefore you can easily guessed that he is the first reason I watched the movie, however it is Tom Hardy that blew my mind with his performance.
Stuart : A Life Backwards is an unusual biopic, it isn’t about some famous people who have changed the world in a good or bad way, it is about an addict and mentally unstable homeless named Stuart Shorter. The movie tells about the relationship between Alexander Masters (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Stuart Shorter (Tom Hardy)
Before I begin, I should mention that this movie is based on a book under the same name by Alexander Masters.
Check this video first. It’s Alexander Masters introduction to Stuart.
The movie started with the arresting of Ruth Wyner and John Brock, the Director and Day Centre Manager of Wintercomfort for the Homeless. They were sent to prison because the homeless they were looking after were secretly trading drugs. In a meeting trying to free them, Alexander met Stuart who then joined the campaign to free Wyner and Brook. This meeting led to a beautiful friendship between a psychotic and addict homeless with an ordinary gentleman who was touched by his homeless friend.
Through the campaign to free Wyner and Brock, their relationship grew stronger day by day. Although at first Alexander couldn’t trust Stuart, it was quite funny to see Alexander had bad thought about Stuart trying to steal his stuff when Stuart first came into his house. I guess we can’t get rid the feeling of distrust toward homeless that easy. Alexander wanted to turn Stuart’s life into a book and Stuart told him to write the back backward, from adulthood to childhood.
Stuart: “Why would you want to write the story of my life?”
Alexander: “To make loads of MONEY!”
Stuart: “Do it backwards, like a murder mystery, how did I get to be like this? What murdered the little boy I was?”
Alexander found out that Stuart wasn’t exactly homeless, he had a small flat and a car. Day by day Alexander learned the painful truth of Stuart’s life. He was even there for moral support when Stuart was called to a court. He was called to court because he went psychotic again by trying to hurt himself and set his flat on fire. Stuart had a really tough life that resulted to him being mentally disorder, homeless, small time criminal, alcohol and drug addict.
What I enjoyed the most from this movie is their friendship, I always have soft spot for unusual friendship. Their bromance is so enjoyable to see, Benedict and Tom had great chemistry together (too bad we can’t see the same chemistry in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy).
The two actors played really well, although I have to say that Tom is the brilliant one here. His portrayal as Stuart is amazing. He walks a bit limping and talks in the way addict do. His changes from sweet adorable man to a crazy psychotic man is awesome. I finally understand the love people have on him. On the other hand, we can also see Benedict looking way different to Sherlock, as Alexander he is more human. Looking at Sherlock and Alexander is like looking at two completely different people whereas the cast is still the same, it shows how diverse Benny’s acting ability is.
…but still, when it comes to physical appearance, Benedict still steals my heart. He looks so damn cute with glasses 🙂
What Tom said about his role:
“I love Stuart. I love him. I feel for him, his pain, d’you know what I mean? There’s more pain in him than there is in me and there’s a gratitude there in some ways, because I think, ‘Well at least I’m not in as much pain as this poor guy’ I don’t want to make it sound sentimental, though. Alexander has written something that sings. I fell in love with the piece. I could hear the music of it……”
“It’s a stunning performance. Tom seems to have absorbed the character completely. On and off set, he lived the character. I’m astonished at how well he managed to portray Stuart’s humour. He was an extremely funny man with so many insights. It took me a long time to get the tone of the TV production right, to get the right balance between the pathos and the humour. But Tom has managed to capture the complexity beautifully. That’s an incredibly difficult thing to do, I think.”
I want to read the book … I want to know Stuart from the written words. I am now thinking of applying for a paypal so that I can buy books easily. So many I want to read but so little are sold here 😦
Director: David Attwood
Writer: Alexander Masters (biography)
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy and Nicola Duffett
Awards: RTS Television Award: Best Single Drama; Banff Television Festival: Best Made for TV Movie and Best Dram; Reims International Television Days: Best TV-Movie and Best Screenplay. Tom Hardy was nominated as best actor in BAFTA
Here’s an extra video…see how cute Tommy and Benny together 😉