2015 in Review: The Best of Lifetime


Today, I continue my look back at 2015 by posting my picks for the best of Lifetime!  My nominees for the best Lifetime films and performances are listed below, with the winners starred and listed in bold!  Congratulations to all the nominees and winners and thank you for making this one of the most entertaining years in my long history of watching Lifetime movies!

deadly-adoption

Best Picture
Babysitter’s Black Book, produced by Robert Ballo and Ken Sanders.
Cleveland Abduction, produced by David A. Rosemont and Stephen Tolkin
*A Deadly Adoption, produced by Fritz Manger, Max Osswald, Will Ferrell, and Adam McKay.*
If There Be Thorns, produced by Richard D. Arredondo and Harvey Kahn.
A Mother’s Instinct, produced by Oliver De Caigny and Timothy O. Johnson
Patient Killer, produced by Barbie Castro.
The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, produced by Joseph Boccia, Don Carmody, and David Cormican.
The Spirit of Christmas, produced by Andrea Ajemian
Stalked By My Neighbor, produced by Robert Ballo.
The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story, produced by Ian Hay.

Best Director
Jason Bourque for A Mother’s Instinct
Doug Campbell for Stalked By My Neighbor.
*Rachel Goldenberg for A Deadly Adoption*
Alex Kalymnois for Cleveland Abduction
Vanessa Parise for The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story
Casper Van Dien for Patient Killer

deadly-adoption-trailer

Best Actor
Shaun Benson in Kept Woman
Dan Castellaneta in The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story
*Will Ferrell in A Deadly Adoption*
Travis Hammer in The Bride He Bought Online
Adam Kaufman in A Mother Betrayed
Eric Roberts in Stalked By My Doctor

Best Actress
Josie Bissett in A Mother’s Instinct
Anna Camp in Caught
Kimberly Elise in Back to School Mom
Kelli Garner in The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe
*Taryn Manning in Cleveland Abduction*
Kelcie Stranahan in Stalked By My Neighbor

Best Supporting Actor
Ken Camroux-Taylor in Sugarbabies
MacKenzie Gray in If There Be Thorns
Richard Harmon in A Mother’s Instinct
*Patrick Muldoon in Patient Killer.*
Eric Roberts in A Fatal Obsession
Peter Strauss in Sugar Daddies.

Unauthorized Beverly Hills

Best Supporting Actress
Angeline Appel in Babysitter’s Black Book.
Barbie Castro in Patient Killer
Olivia d’Abo in Stolen From The Suburbs
Sarah Grey in A Mother’s Instinct
Jessica Lowndes in A Deadly Adoption
*Samantha Munro in The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story*

Best Adapted Screenplay
*Cleveland Abduction, written by Stephen Tolkin*
If There Be Thorns, written by Andy Cochran.
The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroewritten by Stephen Kronish and J. Randy Taraborrelli.
Seeds of Yesterday, written by Darren Stein.
Turkey Hollow, written by Tim Burns and Christopher Baldi.
Wuthering High School, written by Delondra Williams.

Best Original Screenplay
*Babysitter’s Black Book, written by Richard Kletter and Michele Samit*
A Deadly Adoption, written by Andrew Steele.
The Murder Pact, written by John Doolan
Patient Killer, written by Bryan Dick and Brian D. Young.
Stalked By My Neighborwritten by Doug Campbell.
Stolen From The Suburbs, written by Alex Wright

clevelandabduction

Best Cinematography
*Cleveland Abduction, Richard Wong.*
Fatal Obsession, Ronnee Swenton.
If There Be Thorns, James Liston.
The Murder PactBranden James Maxham.
Patient Killer, Bernard Salzmann
The Spirit of Christmas, Michael Negrin.

Best Costume Design
Grace of Monaco, Gigi Lepage
If There Be ThornsShanna Mair, Rebekka Sorensen.
Kept Woman
*The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, Gersha Phillips.*
Seeds of Yesterday, Claire Nadon.
The Spirit of Christmas, Jennifer Lynn Tremblay.

Best Editing
Babysitter’s Black Book, Ely Mennin
Cleveland Abduction, Henk Van Eeghen.
*A Deadly Adoption, Bill Parker.*
A Mother’s Instinct
Stalked By My Neighbor, Clayton Woodhull.
The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story, Allan Lee.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
*Cleveland Abduction, Dugg Kirkpatrick, Susan R. Prosser, Tina Roesler Kewin, Alan Tuskes, Alicia Zavarella*
Grace of Monaco
If There Be Thorns, Jenine Lehfeldt, Tana Lynn Moldovanos.
The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe.  Jordan Samuel, Cliona Furey
The Spirit of Christmas
The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story, Amber Crombach.

Best Original Score
Dangerous Company
Cleveland Abduction, Tony Morales.
Her Infidelity, Russ Howard III
Kidnapped: The Hannah Anderson Story, Matthew Janszen
*The Murder Pact, Matthew Llewellyn.*
Sugar Daddies.  Steve Gurevitch.

heather-graham-if-there-be-thorns

Best Production Design
Cleveland Abduction, Derek R. Hill.
*If There Be Thorns, Linda Del Rosario, Richard Paris.*
A Mother’s Instinct, Jason Sober.
The Murder Pact, Caley Bisson.
The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe.  Rocco Matteo.
The Unauthroized Beverly Hills 90210 Story

Best Sound
*The Bride He Bought Online*
Dangerous Company
If There Be Thorns
Stalked By My Neighbor
UnGodly Acts
Whitney.

Best Visual Effects
Becoming Santa
If There Be Thorns
Last Chance For Christmas
*Turkey Hollow*
When the Sky Falls
Wish Upon A Christmas

Tomorrow, I’ll post my picks for the worst 16 films of 2015!

A-Deady-adoption-dancing

Previous Entries In The Best of 2015:

  1. Valerie Troutman’s 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I Saw in 2015
  2. Necromoonyeti’s Top 15 Metal Albums of 2015
  3. 2015 In Review: The Best of SyFy

Adventures in Cleaning Out The DVR: A Mother Betrayed (dir by Michael Feifer)


A Mother Betrayed

After I finished up my review of Seeds of Yesterdayit was time to rewatch and review A Mother Betrayed.  Last Sunday, A Mother Betrayed premiered on Lifetime.  I watched it and I had a lot of fun live-tweeting it.  Seriously, it’s a fun movie.

The plot may, at first, sound similar to Dangerous Company but A Mother Betrayed quickly establishes it own nicely berserk identity.  When we first meet Monica (Lynn Collins) and Jonathan (David Paetku), they’re standing on the beach and declaring their love for each other.  Since this is a Lifetime movie, we know that early declarations of undying love will only lead to tragedy.  Sure enough, Monica and Jonathan are soon in a car accident.  Monica, who was pregnant at the time, survives.  Jonathan does not.

Just forward 3 years and Monica is now a single mother who is obsessed with her job (she’s in charge of an architectural firm) and her daughter, Maddy (Ariella and Isabella Nurkovic).  At a party, her assistant, Lisa (Bree Williamson) introduces her to a single man named Kevin (Adam Kaufman).  Within a few minutes of meeting, Monica and Kevin are in love.  Ignoring the concerns of her mother (Joanna Cassidy), Monica marries Kevin.  Kevin adopts Maddy and appears to be both the perfect father and the perfect husband.

But is he!?

Well, the name of the movie is A Mother Betrayed

It turns out that Kevin has plans of his own and Lisa, the perfect assistant, is a part of them.  Of course, what’s interesting is that Maddy is a part of Kevin’s scheme as well.  No, Maddy is not conspiring against her mother.  However, it quickly becomes obvious that Kevin really does love Maddy and he actually is a pretty good father.  He wants to take over Monica’s business because he’s greedy but he wants custody of Maddy because he appears to genuinely love her.  That plot development brings an unexpected amount of depth to this Lifetime movie.

(And other plot development that I, speaking as an administrative assistant who happens to be named Lisa, appreciated was that the movie’s Lisa actually made a pretty good point when she eventually taunted Monica by pointing out that Lisa was doing a better job running the company than Monica ever did.  Up to that point, everything that we had seen in the movie seemed to indicate that Lisa was correct.  Between Kevin’s parenting and Lisa’s efficiency, the villains of A Mother Betrayed were nicely nuanced.)

Much as in Dangerous Company, Monica soon finds herself suffering from terrible headaches, forgetfulness, and even hallucinations.  Kevin arranges for Monica to be committed because, in the tradition of all paranoia thrillers, literally everyone appears to be in on the plot — even the doctors!

However, Monica is not alone!  She starts to see Jonathan.  Is she hallucinating or has his spirit really returned to help her?

A Mother Betrayed was a lot of fun and I recommend it to everyone who wants to watch an enjoyably over-the-top Lifetime melodrama.  The entire cast does a pretty good job, with Adam Kaufman even managing to generate some sympathy for the duplicitous Kevin.  (Seriously, Kevin is so good with Maddy!)

Finally, on a strictly personal note, there’s no way that I couldn’t appreciate a film that features an administrative assistant named Lisa.  Finally, a character to which I could relate!

Seriously though, Lifetime replays their movies constantly.  A Mother Betrayed is one to keep an eye out for.