January 17th, 2007

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Still of Sean Biggerstaff in CashbackStill of Sean Biggerstaff and Emilia Fox in CashbackStill of Emilia Fox in CashbackStill of Sean Biggerstaff in CashbackStill of Emilia Fox in CashbackSean Ellis in Cashback

After a painful breakup, Ben develops insomnia. To kill time, he starts working the late night shift at the local supermarket, where his artistic imagination runs wild.

Release Year: 2006

Rating: 7.4/10 (34,074 voted)

Critic's Score: 54/100

Director: Sean Ellis

Stars: Sean Biggerstaff, Emilia Fox, Michelle Ryan

When art student Ben Willis dumps his girlfriend Suzy, he develops chronic insomnia after finding out how quickly she moved on. To pass the long hours of the night, he starts working the late night shift at the local supermarket. There he meets a colorful cast of characters, all of whom have their own 'art' in dealing with the boredom of an eight-hour-shift. Ben's art is that he imagines himself stopping time. This way, he can appreciate the artistic beauty of the frozen world and the people inside it - especially Sharon, the pretty and quiet checkout girl, who perhaps holds the answer to solving the problem of Ben's insomnia.

Michelle Ryan - Suzy
Sean Biggerstaff - Ben Willis
Erica Ellis - Canteen Lady
Jay Bowen - Steve Jenkins
Shaun Evans - Sean Higgins
Kenneth Fahy - Art Class Life Model
Stan Ellis - Art Class Teacher
Katie Ball - Art Class Girl
Emilia Fox - Sharon Pintey
Stuart Goodwin - Jenkins
Celesta Hodge - Deer Girl in Sainsbury's
Nia Roberts - Woman at the Till
Michael Dixon - Barry Brickman
Michael Lambourne - Matt Stephens
Hatti Riemer - Old Lady at Deli Counter

Taglines: Time flies, but the good news is that you're the pilot.


Official Website: Official site | Official site [France] |

Release Date: 17 January 2007

Filming Locations: London, England, UK

Opening Weekend: €11,732 (Netherlands) (10 June 2007) (13 Screens)

Gross: $3,279,495 (Worldwide) (5 May 2011)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Canada: (Toronto International Film Festival)

Did You Know?

The invitation card Sharon receives to Ben's opening exhibition at the gallery reads 31st November, a date that obviously doesn't exist.

Revealing mistakes: In the scene where Ben stops time and starts to draw the naked girl in green you can see that she blinks, that should not be possible because time is standing still.

[first lines]
Ben Willis: It take approximately 500 lbs to crush a human skull. But the human emotion is a much more delicate thing. Take Suzy, my first real girl friend. My first real break-up, happening right in front of me. I never thought it was going to be similar to a car crash...

User Review

A sweet little masterpiece

Rating: 10/10

I attended the world premiere of "Cashback" at the Toronto International Film Festival. I walked out in a daze. I had a feeling I'd seen something special, that moment when you have to pause to take a breath and reflect on what you've experienced. I still had about 20 films to go at the time, and "Cashback" raised the bar and became the benchmark against which all the others would have to be compared. As it turned out, nothing came close. Of the 30 plus films I saw that week, "Cashback" tops the list.

Literally built around the short film of the same name which screened at festivals in 2004, triple threat writer/director/producer Sean Ellis did something ingenious. Rather than take his 20 minute piece and expand it to fill 90 minutes, he created a new Act One and Act Three to bookend a reworking of the original short in the center. And he pulled it off with a tour de force of light and sound. The result is an eerie, compelling twist on the classic Outer Limits episode where time stops while the protagonist weaves in and out of the frozen characters in another dimension. It may sound like sci-fi, but this is a sweet romantic comedy whose storyline is among the most original I've ever seen on screen. The concept is brilliant and the result magnificent.

The look is lush, cinematography by Angus Hudson breathtaking, and "Cashback" features an appropriately sweet score. They combine to give this low budget project a big movie feel, destined for the wide audience it deserves.

Most of all, I believe "Cashback" is the vehicle which will introduce newcomer Sean Biggerstaff (Oliver Wood of "Harry Potter") to the world. His star tun in this film as protagonist Ben Willis left me speechless. The camera loves him, and he is on screen virtually from opening to closing credits. This film is his to make or break. It rests on his shoulders, and he owns the material.

As they say, you'll laugh, you'll cry, and I walked out with a tear in my eye and a smile on my face. And no other film I saw at the Toronto Film Festival did that to me. "Cashback" is a sweet little masterpiece.

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