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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Art student Ben Willis develops insomnia after going through a painful break-up. To kill time, he joins a colorful cast of characters on the late shift at the local supermarket. They all have their own time-killing devices, and Ben's allows him to see the beauty of the everyday world including the people inside it ... especially Sharon, the quiet checkout girl, who just may hold the answer to resolving Ben's insomnia.


A slight but likable British comedy-fantasy with a touch of naughtiness, Cashback is an expanded version of director Sean Ellis' Oscar-nominated short film of the same name about a bored supermarket clerk who discovers that he has the ability to stop time. Sean Biggerstaff (from the Harry Potter franchise) is Ben, a lovelorn young man whose chronic insomnia (due to a bad breakup) forces him to bury himself in pointless and repetitive work at a local grocery store. Once there, boredom causes him to believe that he can stop time, and he enjoys long and languid fantasies about undressing and sketching the female shoppers. But reality intrudes in the form of recollections of his troubled past, as well as the lovely presence of fellow clerk Sharon (Emilia Fox), who offers the promise of love in the real world. A gentle and artfully directed independent film, Cashback doesn't run very deep in terms of emotion, but the special effects are clever, the cast quirky and amusing, and its premise is an appealing mix of softcore reverie and boyish longing. - Paul Gaita

Special Features

    Academy Award® Nominated Short Film: Cashback

    Making of Cashback

Product Details

  • Actors: Sean Biggerstaff, Emilia Fox, Michelle Ryan, Erica Ellis, Jay Bowen
  • Directors: Sean Ellis
  • Writers: Sean Ellis
  • Producers: Sean Ellis, Daphne Guinness, Lene Bausager, Marshall Leviten, Norman Merry
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Magnolia
  • DVD Release Date: July 24, 2007
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PKG8TM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,637 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cashback" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Very well done movie with an original story line, good cinematography.
Michael McCans
My strong feeling - should be more movies like this one, it's enough for me those "jaw-dropped-junk-yard-cake-into-face" movies, just see what a good movie should be.
Valery Baranov
The film is full of useful flashbacks that help us understand the evolution of an artist's perception of women.
D. Roberts

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

213 of 222 people found the following review helpful By D. Roberts VINE VOICE on September 28, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one of the most remarkable films I've seen in quite some time. In fact, it has lurched into the pantheon of my all-time favorite movies! It is a somewhat odd mixture of diverse ingredients, with elements of Office Space - Special Edition with Flair (Widescreen Edition) and High Fidelity and even some allusions to Gladiator (Widescreen Edition) thrown in just for fun. On top of that, much of it makes you feel like you're in the Twilight Zone, yet there's some downright slap-stick comedy that is stirred in for one amazing concoction of a story!

The DVD details the life of an artist (Sean Biggerstaff) who is having an awful time getting over his ex-girlfriend who just dumped him. He's having such a rough time, in fact, that he can't sleep. I mean, literally - he has the worst case of insomnia the world has ever seen. Finally, he gets a job working 3rd shift at a supermarket, just for something to do.

While there he meets up with a very pretty cashier (Emilia Fox) and some just plain crazy co-workers. He looks at even something as banal as working in a grocery store as being an "artistic" (if not metaphysical?) experience, and finds himself gravitating towards the lovely blonde cashier.

At the base, what this movie seems to be "all about" to me is a sort of meditation on feminine beauty, and the way that (straight) men perceive that beauty. Yes, this includes the female nude, but in an artistic way as opposed to being sleazy.
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful By K. Driscoll on August 13, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is Sean Ellis's Academy Award nominated short film Cashback expanded into feature film. Cashback is a comedy first and foremost, and it is about an art school student and aspiring artist named Ben (Sean Biggerstaff), who recently suffered a breakup with his girlfriend of several years. Because of the break up Ben cannot sleep for over the course of several weeks and this is the time period of Ben's life that we see and he narrates for us. Ben gets a job at a grocery store to pass his time. He often imagines stopping time completely and creating his still life art. In fact, as the film goes one we begin to wonder if he really can stop time or not. Soon Ben begins to fall for a clerk named Sharon (Emilia Fox) and his episodic insomnia gets resolved.

Cashback is rich with great characters and some hilarious moments. Ben is dry enough to fittingly suffer through his many experiences, all the while his flat reactions to these other brighter characters is comedic in and of itself. Ben's friend from childhood Shaun (Sean Higgins) is an amusing womanizer who seems completely at peace with the fact that most women will harshly reject his obnoxious advances. Ben's boss Jenkins (Stuart Goodwin) is an absurdly arrogant person that also seems entirely unwavered by his failures to pursue Sharon, or even win a football game against a competing grocery store. Barry and Matt (Michael Dixon and Michael Lambourne) are two colleagues of Ben's who are constantly being ridiculously mischievous and make for some of the film's best laughs. Another colleague of Ben's is Brian (Marc Pickering) whose kung-fu training defines him as a person.
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86 of 102 people found the following review helpful By Z. Freeman VINE VOICE on July 12, 2007
Format: DVD
In 2006, the short film Cashback was nominated for a best live-action short Oscar. Writer/Director Sean Ellis then went on to spin the short about a night-shift worker in a supermarket into a feature about a night-shift worker in a supermarket. Using the same actors, and even most of the footage from the original short, Ellis adds a painful breakup to our hero's life, which brings on a case of incurable insomnia. Looking for a way to cash in on his inability to sleep, art student Ben Willis (Sean Biggerstaff) applies for a job at an all-night supermarket.

Anyone remember Saved By the Bell and Zack Morris's envy-worthy ability to utter the phrase "time-out" and thus freeze time? In Cashback Ben has this same ability, but he uses it in a much more libidinous way: to undress attractive women in the grocery store he works at and then draw their nude figures. Granted, these gratuitous scenes are not the crux of the film, but they're likely to be the most memorable to most viewers. As the camera slowly pans over (and back over) the striking nude female forms, the audience is to see Ben as an intrepid young artist, not as a peeping Tom. The artistic presentation of the women, and the flashbacks to Ben's childhood experiences do their best to give this impression, but the extended length of the scenes and their lack of importance to the final outcome of the story, implies a hint of exploitation rather than simple artistic expression. For the most extensive look at the indelible female form since Striptease, Cashback has cornered the market. Cleverly disguised in the form of a romantic comedy, Cashback manages to comes across as an artsy British Garden State meets Showgirls.
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"Cashback" is a total ripoff of Nicholson Baker's "Fermata"
I absolutely agree. I hope that Nicholson Baker is aware of this and is taking some legal action. There were so many scenes that were such blatant rip offs. I will be watching this Sean Ellis to see who he steals from next.
Sep 2, 2012 by Nicholas Kujawa |  See all 3 posts
Movie Soundtrack
Feb 1, 2008 by aHoy!! |  See all 4 posts
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