2016 in Review: The Best of Lifetime


Today, I continue my look back at the year 2016 with the best of Lifetime!  Below, you’ll find my nominations for the best Lifetime films and performances of 2016!  Winners are starred and listed in bold!

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Best Picture
Bad Sister, produced by Robert Ballo, Timothy O. Johnson, Rukmani Jones, Ken Sanders
The Cheerleader Murders, produced by Sharon Bordas, Arthur Edmonds III, Hannah Pillemer, Fernando Szew, Jennifer Westin
Girl in the Box, produced by Stephen Kemp, Charles Tremayne, Thomas Vencelides
Inspired to Kill, produced by Johnson Chan, Michael Fiefer, Douglas Howell, Stephanie Rennie, Vincet Reppert, Nathan Schwab, Tammana Shah, Shawn Tira
Manson’s Lost Girls, produced by Nancy Bennett, Kyle A. Clark, Lawrence Ducceschi, Joan Harrison, Jonathan Koch, Stephen Kronish, Steven Michaels, Lina Wong
Mommy’s Little Girl, produced by Tom Berry, Steve Boisvert, Neil Bregman, Cinthia Burke, Christine Conradt, Curtis Crawford, Pierre David, Donald M. Osborne, Andrew E. Pecs
*A Mother’s Escape, produced by Sharon Bordas, Lori Bell Leahy, Michael Leahy, Kristofer McNeeley, Fernando Szew
My Sweet Audrina, produced by Dan Angel, David Calvert-Jones, Harvey Kahn, Kane Lee, Tom Mazza, Mike Rohl, Jane Startz
The Night Stalker, produced by Matthew R. Brady, Patrick G. Ingram, Michel Rangel, Alisa Tager
The Wrong Car, produced by Mark Donadio, Miriam Marcus, Molly Martin, Michael O’Neil

Best Director
Doug Campbell for Bad Sister
Megan Griffiths for The Night Stalker
*Blair Hayes for A Mother’s Escape
David Jackson for The Cheerleader Murders
Leslie Libman for Manson’s Lost Girls
Mike Rohl for My Sweet Audrina

Best Actress
*Tara Buck in A Mother’s Escape
India Eisley in My Sweet Audrina
MacKenzie Mauzy in Manson’s Lost Girls
Alyshia Ochse in Bad Sister
Karissa Lee Staples in Inspired To Kill
Addison Timlin in Girl in the Box

Best Actor
Zane Holtz in Girl in the Box
Lou Diamond Phillips in The Night Stalker
*Eric Roberts in Stalked By My Doctor: The Return
Antonio Sabato, Jr in Inspired To Kill
Jason-Shane Scott in The Wrong Roommate
Jeff Ward in Manson’s Lost Girls

Best Supporting Actress
*Toni Atkins in My Sweet Audrina
Eden Brolin in Manson’s Lost Girls
Zoe De Grande Maison in Pregnant at 17
Beth Grant in A Mother’s Escape
Ryan Newman in Bad Sister
Zelda Williams in Girl in the Box

Best Supporting Actor
Blake Berris in Wrong Swipe
Rogan Christopher in Pregnant at 17
*Rhett Kidd in The Wrong Car
Christian Madsen in Manson’s Lost Girls
William McNamara in The Wrong Roommate
James Tupper in My Sweet Audrina

Best Screenplay
Bad Sister, Barbara Kymlicka
*The Cheerleader Murders, Matt Young
Girl in the Box, Stephen Kemp
Mommy’s Little Girl, Christine Conradt
A Mother’s Escape, Mike Bencivenga, Blair Hayes, Kristofer McNeeley
My Sweet Audrina, Scarlett Lacey

Best Cinematography
The Cheerleader Murders, Denis Maloney
Mommy’s Little Girl, Bill St. John
*A Mother’s Escape, Samuel Calvin
My Sweet Audrina, James Liston
The Night Stalker, Quyen Tran
The Wrong Car, Terrence Hayes

Best Costuming
Girl in the Box, Barb Cardoso, Tania Pedro
Manson’s Lost Girls, Dorothy Amos
*My Sweet Audrina, Farnaz Khaki-Sadigh
The Night Stalker, Rebecca Luke
The Red Dress, Sophie Pace
Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart, Mary McLeod

Best Editing
The Cheerleader Murders, Eric Potter
Girl in the Box, Julian Hart
Manson’s Lost Girls, Josh Hegard
*A Mother’s Escape, Travis Graalman
My Sweet Audrina, Charles Robichaud
The Night Stalker, Celia Beasley

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Girl in the Box, Claudia Breckenridge, Jen Fisher, Oriana Rossi, Alex Rotundo, Collette Tolen
Killing Mommy, Cinthia Burke, Christie Capustinsky, Kevin Crawley, Kirsten Fairfield, Margaret Harding-Crawley, Corey J. Stone
*Manson’s Lost Girls, Jenni Brown Greenberg, Randi Mavestrand, Kelly Muldoon, Natalie Thimm
A Mother’s Escape, Jenny Hausam, Toni Mario
My Sweet Audrina, Alannah Bilodeau
Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart, Tara Hadden-Watts, Alexandra Holmes

Best Original Score
911 Nightmare, David Findlay
*The Cheerleader Murders, Cladue Foisy
Inspired To Kill, Brandon Jarrett
A Mother’s Escape, Todd Haberman
My Sweet Audrina, Graeme Coleman
The Wrong Car, Ed Grenga

Best Production Design
Bad Sister, Lia Burton, Danielle Lee
Girl in the Box, Andrew Berry, Jere Sallee
*Manson’s Lost Girls, Cynthia E. Hill, Linda Spheeris
A Mother’s Escape, Zackary Steven Graham
My Sweet Audrina, Tink, Janessa Hitsman
Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart, James Robbins, Courtney Stockstad, Amanda Christmas

Best Sound
*Center Stage: On Pointe
The Cheerleader Murders
Honeymoon from Hell
I Have Your Children
Inspired to Kill
Toni Braxton: Unreak My Heart

Best Visual Effects
Final Destiny
*Flashback
House of Darkness
The Inherited
Little Girl’s Secret
The Watcher

Congratulations to all the nominees and thank you for keeping us entertained in 2016!

Want to see my picks for the best of Lifetime in 2015?  Click here!

And if you want to see my picks from 2014, click here!

Tomorrow, I’ll continue my look back at 2016 with the 16 worst films of the year!

Previous Entries In The Best of 2016:

  1. TFG’s 2016 Comics Year In Review : Top Tens, Worsts, And Everything In Between
  2. Anime of the Year: 2016
  3. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I Saw In 2016
  4. 2016 in Review: The Best of SyFy

Film Review: Flashback (dir by Claude Desrosiers)


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No, that image above is not my sister‘s latest discovery for artwork of the day.  Instead, it’s the only promo image that I’ve been able to find for a film called Flashback.  Flashback premiered on the Lifetime Movie Network on January 31st.  Because I was on a road trip when it originally aired, I had to set the DVR to record it.  I watched the film earlier today and I jotted down a few notes for my review.  Then, because I desperately needed the space on my DVR, I erased the recording.  I assumed that I would be able to get any other details I needed from the film’s imdb page.

Big mistake.

Unlike some obscure films, Flashback actually does have a page on the imdb.  But there’s next to no information about the movie!  There’s a brief (but surprisingly accurate) plot description.  Three members of the cast are listed.  Jeffrey Roy is listed as being the adr mixer.  But otherwise, no director is listed.  No producer.  No writers.  It’s very odd.

So, after discovering that the imdb was going to be little to no help, I decided to go to MyLifetime.com and look up the film.  And guess what?  The MyLifetime page does not list a director either!

After doing a few more fruitless Google searches, I quickly looked through my notes.  Maybe I had jotted down the director’s name.  Of course, I did not.

The lesson here is not to take the imdb for granted as a resource.  Especially when it comes to fairly obscure Lifetime films.

I would especially like to be able to name the director and writer responsible for Flashback because it actually tells a very heartfelt story and attempts to deal with a serious issue.  The films tell the story of Samantha (Roxanne McKee), a soldier with the National Guard who has just returned from Iraq.  While Samantha struggles to maintain an outward normalcy, she is actually suffering from severe PTSD.  (When we first see her, she’s holding a gun and hiding in a bathroom stall while her friends throw her a welcome home party.)  In Iraq, Samantha was involved in a friendly fire incident that led to the death of two soldiers.  Back home, she finds herself being stalked by another soldier (Tim Rozon), who blames her for the incident.  What gives this story a twist is that Samantha herself is unsure about what actually happened.  Whenever she tries to remember, she just has hazy flashbacks to a battle in Iraq.

(And, let it be said, the battle scenes were surprisingly well-done for what appeared to be a rather low-budget film.  The director did a good job of creating and capturing the feel of total chaos and confusion.)

And, in many ways, Flashback is a standard Lifetime film.  Even while Samantha is being stalked, she enters into a relationship with yet another soldier (Steve Lund), who is politically ambitious and has secrets of his own.  The whole thing even includes, as almost every Lifetime film does, a chase and confrontation at an isolated cabin.   But then the film ends with some statistics about PTSD and suicide and with two final words on the screen: “For Cathy.”  It’s a powerful moment and I’d like to give the director proper credit.  So, if you are the director or you know the director, leave a comment and let us know so that we can give credit where credit is due.

(UPDATE: Val has just informed me that this film was directed by Claude Desrosiers.  — LMB)

The other great thing about Flashback is that it featured Stacey Farber in the role of Samantha’s best friend!  If you’re a fan of Degrassi, like me and Valerie Troutman, then you will immediately recognize Stacey from her role as Ellie Nash!  Ellie was always my favorite character on Degrassi, largely because, as a redheaded film lover who used to dress exclusively in black and who has had some experience with rubber band therapy, I related to her in so many ways.  And while I remain a fan of the show, it definitely lost something when Stacey Farber left the show.  (That said, at least Ellie finally ended up with the totally hot Craig Manning!  Go, Ellie!)

Anyway, it’s interesting seeing Stacey Farber play a character who suggests that the best way for Samantha to deal with wartime trauma is to go on a shopping spree.  (That said, I probably would have made the same suggestion.  Shopping is always a good fallback remedy.)  But she does a good job in her role (as does the entire cast) and it was nice to see that, for her, there is life after Degrassi.

In fact, I’m going to end this review with three of my favorite Ellie gifs.