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!


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


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


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.


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

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!


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

Cleaning Out the DVR: Becoming Santa (dir by Christie Will)

Happy holidays!  Well, the year is almost over and soon, it will be time to look back upon all of the films that Lifetime aired over 2015 and announce my picks for the best.  However, before I do that, I need to take a look at the many Lifetime holiday movies that I currently have recorded on the DVR.  (I also need to clear up some space for 2016 because, seriously, that DVR fills up quickly!)

That’s right, it is the season for Lifetime Christmas movies!  And I’m not complaining.  (Or, at the very least, I’m not complaining too much.)  Myself, I love Lifetime movies because of the melodrama, the outrageous plot twists, the out-of-control teenagers, and the psycho boyfriends.  Lifetime Christmas movies tend to be a bit more life-affirming than your typical Lifetime film.  After spending 11 months watching films like Stolen From The Suburbs, Cleveland Abduction, The Bride He Bought Online, and A Deadly Adoption, it takes a bit of adjustment to then watch something like Becoming Santa.  It’s not that Becoming Santa doesn’t have its own merits.  It’s just that it’s so dramatically different from what we usually expect to see on Lifetime.


Becoming Santa was the first movie that I rewatched in my attempt to clean out the DVR for the holidays.  It originally aired on Lifetime on December 12th.

Conner (Jesse Hutch) works for a toy company and is frustrated by the fact that he can’t get children to put down their phones long enough to get excited over a toy horse that he wants to mass produce.  However, despite his work frustrations, Conner is still happy because he’s in love with Holly Claus (Laura Bell Bundy).  In fact, he’s decided that the Christmas holiday would be the perfect time to ask Holly to marry him.  But first, he wants to get the blessing of Holly’s father.

That might be difficult, Holly explains, because her parents live up north.  Way up north.

However, Conner will not be dissuaded.  And, before you can say Meet The Parents and Little Fockers, Conner is heading up north to meet Holly’s parents.  Of course, on the way up north, Conner is conveniently passed out while Holly takes him through the secret portal that leads to the North Pole…

That’s right!  Holly Claus is the daughter of Santa Claus (Michael Gross) and Mrs. Santa (Meredith Baxter).  It takes Conner a while to realize this, though the fact that his future father-in-law has a big white beard and employs an elf named Mario (Gabe Khouth) should have been a big clue.  However, once Conner does figure it out, he’s okay with it.

But will he be okay with the fact that, if he marries Holly, he’ll be expected to take over the role of Santa Claus?  And, for that matter, how can klutzy Conner hope to compete with Holly’s ex-boyfriend, Jack Frost (Tony Cavalero)?  After all, Jack and Holly have so much in common…

As far as Lifetime holiday movies are concerned, I thought Becoming Santa was actually really cute.  The entire cast had a really sweet chemistry, Gabe Khouth brought an unexpected edge to the character of Mario the Elf, and Tony Cavalero was a lot of fun as Jack Frost.  Yes, I did have a hard time believing that Conner would miss so many obvious clues as to who Holly’s parents truly were but then again, it’s a Christmas movie on Lifetime.  It’s probably not too much to ask us to suspend our disbelief just a little bit!

Becoming Santa was a sweet movie.  It’s scheduled to be rebroadcast on Lifetime on Christmas Day.