uglyduckling films

Cashback is a 2006 film directed by Oscar-nominated Sean Ellis (Metro manila, Anthropoid) starring Sean Biggerstaff, Emilia Fox and Michelle Ryan. The film is based on the Oscar-nominated short Cashbackwhich screened in over 70 festivals worldwide, received an Academy Award nomination, and won Best Jury Award at Tribeca.

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She caught the wrong second of a two-second story.
— Ben Willis, Cashback

Click on the posters to go to the imdb page:


Cashback won the C.I.C.A.E award at San Sebastian International Film Festival, the Jury Prize at the Bermuda International Film Festival, and the Audience Award at the Sarlat International Cinema Festival.

Within this frozen world I’m able to walk freely and unnoticed. Nobody would even know that time has stopped. And when it started back up again, the invisible join would be seamless except for a slight shudder. Not unlike the feeling of somebody walking over your grave.
— Ben Willis, Cashback



Cashback: the synopsis

When Ben Willis breaks up from his first girlfriend he starts to suffer from insomnia. He suddenly finds that his life has been extended by eight hours so he decides to work the nightshift at a local Sainsbury’s. From the sexually harassed checkout girl, Sharon, to the daredevil stuntman in the meat department, Ben has discovered that all the staff have perfected an “art” in dealing with the boredom of an eight hour shift. 

But Ben dreams of becoming a painter and his “art” becomes a sophisticated daydream about the essence of beauty found in the female form. He imagines he has the ability to stop time and with the world on pause, philosophies about the meaning of love and life. 

Ben sees something in Sharon as she starts to captivate his imagination. Ben begins to see the inner beauty she possesses. Before Ben can do anything she starts to date Matt who works in the super market and Ben retreats into flashbacks about past crushes and girlfriends and the way they have shaped his outlook on life. 

Back at work, the supermarket manager, who is harassing Sharon, organizes a five a side football match with another supermarket and the boys are roped in to play. After a disastrous loss and an accident that involves the manager getting his nose broken by the ball, Ben finds out that Matt had been exaggerating his conquests with Sharon and that in fact, Sharon isn’t seeing him at all in that capacity.

There is to be a big party on Saturday night and all the staff are going to be there. Ben knows that this is the night where he wants to make his feeling for Sharon clear. But at the party Ben runs into his ex girlfriend who at the first sight of Ben with Sharon makes a play to get him back. She kisses Ben outside the toilet and Sharon sees it. Realizing what has just happened Ben runs after Sharon. He catches up with her in the street where it has started to snow. He explains the situation to her and asks her if she will take a leap of faith and trust him. She says yes and Ben then stops time. He shows her a world on pause and the beauty found there. He explains the feelings he has for her and in a final scene set against snowflakes frozen in the air, Ben tells Sharon what he has been searching for and the theory he has about the secret to love.