Photo credit: http://benedictcumberbatch.co.uk/stuart-a-life-backwards/
I have been doing a lot of work on both homelessness and mental health and mental illness this week and I have been reflecting back on Stuart, A Life Backwards.
Stuart is one of my favourite pieces of drama of all time - I adore it and I love it to pieces and it will always have a very special place in my heart. It is a BBC film featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy. They are the leading actors of their generation and both deliver outstanding performances in this film.
Stuart is a hard-hitting social commentary and covers tough issues such as homelessness, drugs, alcohol and mental illness. It is powerful, moving, touching and, ultimately, heartbreaking. Both Benedict and Tom give the performance of their lives and the chemistry between them is tangible. What is at the heart of the piece is the growing and deepening friendship between Alexander and Stuart, which is one of the most unlikely pairings and friendships you are ever going to encounter! You can both sense and feel the affection and the love that the two characters have for eachother. The extras on the DVD are brilliant - there are incredibly long interviews with both Benedict and Tom.
Photo courtesy http://www.benedictcumberbatch.co.uk/
Again, this is the BBC at its best. I have watched this film again and again, so many times over the years. As with Third Star, I do not find the film depressing in any way - I find it uplifting. It is, of course, all the more powerful for being a true story.
Photo credit: http://www.benedictcumberbatch.co.uk/stuart-a-life-backwards/
Cut and pasted from Amazon:
The award-winning drama Stuart A Life Backwards details the remarkable friendship between a reclusive writer and illustrator (Alexander played by Benedict Cumberbatch) and a chaotic homeless man (Stuart played by BAFTA Award nominated Tom Hardy), whom he gets to know during a campaign to release two charity workers from prison.
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 write the story backwards, so that it is 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 various 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.
You can buy Stuart here:
Highly highly highly recommended.