Stuart : A Life Backwards – Tom Hardy at his best

I have often heard people saying how good Tom Hardy is but I have yet to see his best performance that can make me nod in agreement with those people…not until I see this TV Movie.

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?”

I love how Stuart clinging to Alexander's sweet

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……”

What Alexander Masters thought of Tom:

“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 😦

Movie Detail

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 😉


22 thoughts on “Stuart : A Life Backwards – Tom Hardy at his best

  1. Oh my goodness!! I’ve never heard of this movie before but I HAVE to see it. I mean I love Benedict now since ‘Sherlock’ and Hardy is of course awesome, so to see ’em together is a must see! The story sounds intriguing as well, thanks for highlighting this, Nov!

    1. It’s impossible for anyone who had seen Sherlock NOT to like Benedict 😉
      The good thing about finding new actor, like me finding Benny, is he discovery of a lot of great movies I have never heard before. I enjoy the ride ever since I knew him. I am eager to see more TV Movies by him.

      After seeing this movie…I can now say “Yes, hardy is awesome” 😉

  2. Yaaaay! You’ve finally seen this movie!!! When I recommended this to you a while back, I figured it was going to be a while until you managed to find it. I, myself, saw it on cable. Coincidentally, it’s been aired quite frequently now. Pretty much once a day, I get to see this duo 🙂
    Oh, and THANK YOU for that awesome video and picture of Hardy and Cumberbatch!

    1. Hehehe since I discover the fun of downloading through Torrentz, I have been on donwload spree…I try to download ALL Benny’s movies, if my internet connection is faster than what I have now, I would have finished downloading them all..but then again, all in good time 😉

      Thank you for recommending it to me, tho I will get to it eventually 😉 , you were right when you said Tom was great in here…I truly enjoyed his performance. I am thinking of seeing it again this weekend, a movie like this always bring better perspective on the second viewing…plus it won’t hurt to see the cute Benny again 😉

      Don’t you just love that video?? they are so adorable together!

  3. They had me with “What made you homeless”, “It’s different for each time.” So very like the way I write books. And going backwards is a stroke of brilliance. “What murdered the boy I was.” Excellent.

    1. I hope you will like it as much as I am 🙂
      I am about to watch it again now…things I always do when finding good movies, rewatched it not long after the first viewing.

  4. Yea like Ruth, never even heard of this flick but this sounds really exciting. I’m not totally sold on Tom Hardy yet (haven’t seen Bronson) but certainly, he is one of those up and comer who could be big a few years from now.

    1. Just like you, I couldn’t understand why Tom Hardy is liked by many people apart from him being handsome (tho not my type of handsome)…but after seeing Stuart, I have more respect toward Hardy…he should do more challenging roles like this in the future.

    1. I think this one is more into friendship rather than most biopic that centered on the person they are trying to share to the audience. Stuart’s life was interesting to follow but their friendship is much more enjoyable.

    1. It is indeed character driven…I am glad I can share movie that not many have seen. I guess there is after all benefit in liking a certain actor too much, I can share his unknown movie to everyone 😉

    1. Unusual friendship has its own attraction especially if it is based on true story like this one. For a woman, it might sound funny that I enjoy watching friendship movie more than romance movie…friendship touches me more than all than romantic scenes.

      Both Benedict and Tom are so well connected in this movie. I hope you can find it and like it just like me.

  5. Two excellent actors. I hadn’t heard about this. I must check it out. Hardy has been exceptional of late and I think big things will come, especially with Batman this year while Cumberbatch has been brilliant as Sherlock Holmes on BBC television.

  6. The 2nd picture (Cumberbatch holding a plate) was exactly the picture I saw previously. 🙂

    Yes, this one particular movie. Hardy (and Cumberbatch) are great there, huh? Gonna look for the film then. But what is tv movie mbak? Serial tv?

    Anyway, the psychotic behaviour that Stuart has is masochism, ya?

    1. Yup…both were great, but I think Hardy was better because he got the most challenging role.

      TV movie is like FTV, a two hour movie for television.

      I forgot but I think it was schizophernia (not sure about the spelling)

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