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When art student Ben Willis is dumped by 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. Written by
Winnie Li===Corrected by Kate
The feature includes the 18 minute Oscar-nominated short film of the same title within its running time. See more »
In the Zola Budd flashback scene the young Ben in shown watching the 1984 Olympics. This puts the year of Ben's birth in the mid to late 1970s which would make him late twenties/early thirties in the present, but the adult Ben is clearly portrayed as an undergraduate student of about twenty. The ages would be correct if the main body of the film was set in the mid 1990s but to accept that would involve too many anachronisms (references to texting, Sainsburys uniforms, cars in the car park, etc.). See more »
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. I've slammed the breaks, and I'm skidding toward an emotional impact. So, is this all my fault? Me, Ben Willis. It's funny what goes through your mind at a time like this. The two and a half years we spent together. The ...
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Before the credits roll there's another video of Barry doing a dangerous BMX stunt. This time it works, though, and he doesn't fall flat on his face. See more »
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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