Tom Hardy gives a career best performance as Stuart a homeless, sometimes violent alcoholic who also indulges in drugs from time to time. Benedict Cumberbatch co-stars as Alexander a writer who also works as a carer for the homeless to make a it more pocket money.
The story like the novel is told backwards so from the off we learn that Stuart has passed away and Alexander narrates the story like the book and tells the humorous and heartbreaking tale of his good friend Stuart. When the owners of the homeless hostel Alexander works at and Stuart visits are arrested the two meet at a meeting to free the couple and strike a bond when Alexander realizes that there is more to Stuart than meets the eye as he proves himself to be intelligent and he even comes up with a way of peaceful protest that leads to the carers being released. When Alexander decides to write a book about Stuart the two begin to bind and develop a loving friendship and as Alexander learns more about Stuarts past he comes to realize why the seemingly intelligent young man ended up becoming homeless but Alexander also has to put up with Stuarts drinking and his rage of violent outbreaks that occur. Hardy plays
Based on a novel that was also a true story Stuart: A life backwards is easily one of the best independent films I have ever seen largely due to the chemistry between the leading men, Hardy's performance as Stuart is so convincing and strong it is amazing that not that many people know about this film and it is a shame that the film was made for television and not given a wide release as he would have won numerous awards for his portrayal, he goes from dark to joyful at the click of the finger sometimes and makes you care so much for the character, Benedict Cumberbatch is also very good in his role as Alexander but this is Hardy's movie from start to finish and he makes the most of it.