Adapted by Alexander Masters from his award-winning 2005 biography of his homeless friend Stuart Shorter, Stuart: A Life Backwards is a poignant, funny, ultimately tragic true story that unfolds like a whodunit, tracing in reverse (as the title suggests) how a young boy was transformed into a violent convict and substance abuser. The narrative unfolds in two directions. Moving forward, Alexander (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Stuart (Tom Hardy) forge an unlikely bond as they campaign to right a miscarriage of justice in Cambridge, England. Moving backwards, Stuart slowly reveals his harrowing life story to Alexander, encompassing bouts of violence and madness, stints in prison, a lifelong battle with muscular dystrophy and, most tellingly, a horrific, abuse-filled childhood. Along the way, there are some surprisingly tender and funny moments, and Alexander learns much from his unique friend until past and present tragically collide. Inventively employing flashbacks and animated sequences, the film is told in a fashion that is as unforgettable as Stuart is. Part murder mystery-part emotional exploration, Stuart: A Life Backwards probes the deepest regions of the human heart.
CAST: Tom Hardy (Stuart Shorter), Benedict Cumberbatch (Alexander Masters), Adam Payne (Young Stuart), Duffett (Judith), Claire-Louise Cordwell (Karen).
CREDITS: Directed by David Attwood; Produced by Pippa Harris; Screenplay by Alexander Masters, based on his book; Executive Producers: Sam Mendes, Tara B. Cook and Julie Gardner; Co-Producer: Rupert Ryle-Hodges.
Premieres July 13 on HBO Signature