27 user 4 critic

Stuart: A Life Backwards (2007)

A writer takes a backwards look at the life of his unlikely friend Stuart, a homeless alcoholic who experienced a traumatic event in his childhood.


David Attwood


Alexander Masters (biography)
2,181 ( 427)
6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Benedict Cumberbatch ... Alexander Masters
Tom Hardy ... Stuart Shorter
Nicola Duffett ... Judith
Claire-Louise Cordwell Claire-Louise Cordwell ... Karen
Edna Doré Edna Doré ... Gran
Candis Nergaard ... Sophie
Joanna Maude Joanna Maude ... Ruth
Trevor Sellers ... John
Barbara Barnes Barbara Barnes ... Wintercomfort Secretary
Hugh Armstrong ... Old Drunk
George Anton George Anton ... Dangerous Ginger
Dominic Kemp Dominic Kemp ... Academic Man
Shenagh Govan ... Bookish Woman
Caroline Parker Caroline Parker ... Deaf Jackie
Richard Cant ... Dainty Man


When Stuart Shorter - a homeless alcoholic with a violent past - meets writer and charity worker Alexander Masters, they strike up an unlikely friendship. 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 tell 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 story an almost tragi-comic edge. Through post office heists, attempts at suicide and spells inside numerous 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. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama


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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


With Tom Hardy being a method actor, he lost weight in preparation for filming to give his character the thin look of the drug addict and suicidal figure Stuart Shorter was in real life. See more »


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: My name is Psycho but you can call me Stuart if you want.
See more »

User Reviews

warm hard hitting brilliance
7 January 2013 | by nuttylou1980See all my reviews

This film is outstanding. Hardy has done a fantastic portrayal of stuart. This i know as my husband knew stuart shorter. The film is funny in places and warm hearted, but also very hard hitting. It made me cry because of how sad stuart was towards the end of his life. An alcohol drug addicted man who didn't see any real way out of his lifestyle. "convict curry" makes me laugh each time i watch it. I've lost count of how many times i have watched this film. I also have the book which is also a must have. This shows how two people from very very different backgrounds can become a huge part of each others life. And just how dark and sad somebody can become because of awful events in their life. Overall i love this film and if ever i did have the pleasure to meet mr tom hardy i would shake his hand and thank him for his superb work.

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Release Date:

23 September 2007 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Stuart: A Life Backwards See more »

Filming Locations:

Norfolk, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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