IMDb > Stuart: A Life Backwards (2007) (TV)
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Stuart: A Life Backwards (2007) (TV) More at IMDbPro »


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Alexander Masters (biography)
View company contact information for Stuart: A Life Backwards on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 September 2007 (UK) See more »
A writer (Cumberbatch) takes a backwards look at the life of his unlikely friend Stuart (Hardy), a homeless alcoholic who experienced a traumatic event in his childhood. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
6 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Brilliant in all possible ways See more (18 total) »


  (in credits order)

Benedict Cumberbatch ... Alexander Masters

Tom Hardy ... Stuart Shorter

Nicola Duffett ... Judith
Claire-Louise Cordwell ... Karen
Edna Doré ... Gran

Candis Nergaard ... Sophie
Joanna Maude ... Ruth
Trevor Sellers ... John
Barbara Barnes ... Wintercomfort Secretary
Hugh Armstrong ... Old Drunk
George Anton ... Dangerous Ginger
Dominic Kemp ... Academic Man
Shenagh Govan ... Bookish Woman
Caroline Parker ... Deaf Jackie
Richard Cant ... Dainty Man

Terry Bird ... Police Officer A
Andrew Hallett ... Police Officer B
Laurence Hobbs ... Smithy
Giles Taylor ... Reuben
David Chittenden ... James
Felicity Dean ... Dido

Dominic Coleman ... Attacking Man
Sagar Arya ... Solicitor

Lorna Bennett ... Anne Campbell's PA
Sandra Maitland ... Dr. Campbell MP

Timothy Carlton ... Judge Howarth
Alexandra Mathie ... Labour Councillor
Adam Payne ... Stuart Aged - 7-12
Franco Lombardi ... Johnny - Aged 10 / 11
George Nolan ... Bobby - Aged 10 / 11
Daniel McMillan ... Gavvy - Aged 14
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marston Bloom ... Drew
Elizabeth Boag ... Teacher
Morne Botes ... Pissing Couple
Cressida Cooper ... Sloucher's Girlfriend
Steven Hopwood ... Amputee
Jamie Kenna ... PC jones

Steve King ... James Gibbons
Joe Lloyd ... White Van Man
Richard Pettyfer ... Head prison officer

Adam Shaw ... Sloucher
Chris Wilson ... Police Officer

Directed by
David Attwood 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Alexander Masters  biography

Produced by
Tara B. Cook .... executive producer
Julie Gardner .... executive producer: BBC
Pippa Harris .... producer
Sam Mendes .... executive producer
Rupert Ryle-Hodges .... co-producer
Original Music by
Rob Lane  (as Robert Lane)
Cinematography by
Ulf Brantås 
Film Editing by
Pia Di Ciaula 
St. John O'Rorke 
Casting by
Andy Pryor 
Production Design by
Donal Woods 
Art Direction by
Andrea Coathupe 
Costume Design by
Justine Luxton 
Makeup Department
Jessica Brooks .... hair stylist
Jessica Brooks .... makeup artist
Karen Hartley .... makeup designer (as Karen Hartley-Thomas)
Rosie Octon .... makeup trainee (as Rose Octon)
Production Management
Sharon McGuinness .... unit manager
Mark L. Mitchell .... post production executive
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Phil Booth .... first assistant director
Ben Harrison .... second assistant director
Charlie Reed .... third assistant director
George Taylor .... floor assistant director
Art Department
Douglas Glen .... stand-by props
Charlie Johnson .... property master
Elaine Jones .... art department assistant
David Morris .... production buyer
Paddy Paddison .... stand-by art director
Sound Department
Clive Derbyshire .... sound mixer
Alex Ellerington .... dialogue editor
Iain Eyre .... adr editor
Steve Little .... additional adr editor
Peter Margrave .... sound maintenance
Andre Schmidt .... dialogue editor
Alexandros Sidiropoulos .... adr recordist
Lee Walpole .... supervising sound editor
Special Effects by
Perry Brahan .... special effects assistant
James Davis III .... special effects senior technician
Hugh Goodbody .... special effects technician
Mark Holt .... special effects supervisor
Peter Kersey .... senior sfx technician
Lloyd Bass .... stunt performer
Nrinder Dhudwar .... stunt coordinator
Levan Doran .... stunt performer
Andy Merchant .... stunt performer
Camera and Electrical Department
Laurence Cendrowicz .... still photographer
Rachel Clark .... camera trainee
Adam Gillham .... camera operator: yellow camera
Mark Holtermann .... clapper loader
Ronan Murphy .... grip
Steve O'Reilly .... electrician
Mike Pollard .... gaffer
Alessandra Sangermano .... additional clapper loader
David Smith .... camera truck driver
Andrew Wiggins .... focus puller
Animation Department
Timothy Bird .... animation director
Sam Buntrock .... animation director
Casting Department
Andy Brierley .... casting associate
Kirsty Robertson .... casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Charlotte Sewell .... costume supervisor
Victoria Taylor .... costume assistant
Ann Tutt .... wardrobe
Michael Weldon .... costume assistant
Editorial Department
Scott Hinchcliffe .... on-line editor
Cecile Jambon .... assistant editor
Music Department
P.J. Bloom .... music consultant
Emma Leslie .... music supervisor
Steve Parr .... music recordist
Transportation Department
Mark Beeton .... unit driver
Pete Newman .... unit driver: dalies
Darren Leen .... driver: Tom Hardy (uncredited)
Other crew
Charles Bodycomb .... armorer
Jenny Brassett .... production coordinator
Dylan Davies .... unit medic
Mark Ellis .... location assistant
Shawn Fleming .... assistant accountant
Nick Fulton .... location scout
Louisa Grant .... location scout
Stefan Kaday .... production runner
Milly Leigh .... assistant to producer
Richard May .... location manager
Hollie Moreton .... assistant coordinator
Jon Rowe .... runner
Richard Smith .... researcher
Heather Storr .... script supervisor
Nathan Woods .... production accountant
David Nemar .... action cars (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
92 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The Post Office featured in 1979 and 1993 scenes is the former Post Office (now an empty shop) at Fen Ditton, near Cambridge.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: When Alexander lets Stuart into his house for the first time (about 7-8 minutes into the film) the shadow of the camera falls on the door as he closes it.See more »
Stuart Shorter:What a load of bollocks! Who needs the queen?See more »


Broadcast Dates?
See more »
7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Brilliant in all possible ways, 3 April 2012
Author: Rodrigo Amaro ( from São Paulo, Brazil

Here's an warming real life story transformed into a lovely TV film. It all starts when writer Alexander Masters (Benedict Cumberbatch) having plenty of available time on his hands decided to write the story of a homeless man he met while coordinating an campaign to release from prison the directors of a project that helps homeless people. The man in question is Stuart Shorter (Tom Hardy), an troubled and angered young man who has been arrested several different times, who suffers from a muscular dystrophy and lots of other problems as well but who happens to impress Alexander in a unusual way with some smartness, his humor and a great sense of friendship. And it is Stuart that gives Alexander the idea of writing his story in backwards. "Make it involving, do it like Tom Clancy. What murdered the little boy I was?" he says. And here begins the journey of finding who Stuart was and why he is the way he is now.

David Attwood directs "Stuart: A Life Backwards" with grace and wisdom, working with a depressive subject without sentimentalism and using of plenty of humor, some comic reliefs and a great deal of imagination throughout little animated segments (everytime Masters thinks of Stuart's ideas or picturing moments of his life). What separates this movie from many similar made by Hollywood is the honest portrayal of the main figure, without providing easy answers on why Stuart end up the way he ended. Just like the writer we keep putting the pieces together to form one and definitive Stuart, the man, but even with all the puzzle formed there's the sensation of looking at a distance and still we wouldn't comprehend the image quite right. A simple man, a tragic figure yet so intriguing, so interesting to follow. That's what captivated Alexander and that's what captivates us viewers.

And if the man with all his simplicity and his uniqueness in seeing the world is that fascinating on us is because the actor portraying him is all that as well. Well known for his action roles in pictures like "Rock N'Rolla" and "Inception" the great Tom Hardy gives his most impressive performance so far. Wheter angry, fragile, sick, eternally confused or just sharing a crazy thought, he makes all those feelings and reactions wonderfully. The mannerisms, the ticks, his slurred voice, a real character not an acting show, a perfect embodiment. And Mr. Cumberbacth doesn't get behind, he's very good and together they form a great team (as proved again in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy", even though there they a little bit opposite from each other).

"Stuart: A Life Backwards" is a good example of a film that doesn't need much to satisfy its viewers. You can watch over and over again, see new things on each view and see some positive and inspiring things. I highly recommend it. 9/10

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