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 »
6 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Hardy was already warming up for Bronson See more (17 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
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 »
Alexander Masters:Alexander: If you had to change one thing about your life, what would it be?
Stuart Shorter:Stuart: Well, how much is one thing?
See more »


Broadcast Dates?
See more »
Hardy was already warming up for Bronson, 21 August 2014
Author: estebangonzalez10 from Ecuador

"My name is Psycho but you can call me Stuart if you want."

Before his breakout role in Bronson, Tom Hardy showed his true potential in a small made for TV film, Stuart A Life Backwards. He co-stared along another relatively unknown at the time, Benedict Cumberbatch (at least outside of Great Britain). These are two huge A-list actors today who have starred as villains in blockbusters like Star Trek Into Darkness and The Dark Knight Rises among many other great films. So I was immediately attracted to this film when I heard it starred these two actors. It is a biography of a troubled alcoholic and homeless man named Stuart(Tom Hardy) who establishes a friendship with a writer and charity worker named Alexander (Benedict Cumberbatch). We've seen these dramatic films exploring similar issues of unlikely friendships done before, but Stuart gives it a unique twist by telling the story beginning from the back. Because lets face it when we first meet someone like Stuart we are shocked at their current condition and we take little time to try to figure out what may have caused this strange behavior. We see who the person is at the present and by establishing a relationship we slowly begin to uncover things about their past, and that is exactly how Alexander presents Stuart to the audience. Stuart is a rather unconventional character, and Tom Hardy plays him brilliantly. He is an alcoholic who suffers from violent outbreaks. He also has suicide tendencies and suffers from muscular dystrophy which has taken its toll on him. But most of the time Stuart is a kind man with a dry sense of humor. He tells his story in a rather funny way adding a tragicomic touch to this film. Despite the strong performances from Cumberbatch and Hardy the film works mostly because of the way the film is narrated. As we learn more about Stuarts past we begin to sympathize with him and realize where he is coming from. It isn't a great film, but it is solid and it showed the true potential these lead actors had.

The film does feel a bit rushed at times and it suffers from trying to add a lot of information in only 90 minutes, making some scenes feel chopped and forced. Director David Attwood benefits mostly from this emotional true story and these two actors, who happened to be the main attraction for me and the reason why this film is getting some distribution currently on HBO. It isn't a perfect film, but it has a masterful physical performance delivered by Hardy who was just getting warmed up for his upcoming and breakout role in Bronson. I really loved the quirky approach the film took in telling this true story (which was actually based on the successful biography written by Alexander Masters), but it's far from being a perfect and memorable film. The animated scenes that Attwood decided to introduce to tell some parts of the story were a bit disturbing and took me out of the movie at times. But every time I was let down by these scenes, Tom Hardy showed up with another impressive scene and brought me right back in. It is a masterful performance and one that shows his unique talent as an actor. I am also thankful I watched this film with subtitles because sometimes it was difficult to understand what he was mumbling about, but it was still great voice work from his part. Cumberbatch played a more restricted character, but he also has some emotional scenes near the end where he proves he's a talented actor. It is a film worth checking out if you are a fan of these actors.

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