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

What Lisa Watched Last Night #115: Kept Woman (dir by Michel Poulette)


Earlier, I watched the latest Lifetime original film, Kept Woman!

Kept Woman

Why Was I Watching It?

Well, why not?  First off, it was on Lifetime.  Secondly, the commercials made it look really creepy.  Third, I checked on the imdb and I discovered that this film was made in Canada and everyone knows how much I love Canada.  And finally, I read a very misleading article on Bustle that insinuated that this film was based on the Ariel Castro case.

What Was It About?

One night, after an evening at the theater, Jessica (Courtney Ford) and her fiancée Evan (Andrew W. Walker) return to their apartment and discover that they’re being robbed by a guy who looks like Jack Black’s younger, thinner brother.

Jessica says, “Enough of this city living!  We’re moving to the suburbs!”  Evan agrees to use his life savings to purchase a house in the suburbs.  It’s here that Jessica will work on her book while skyping with her true crime-obsessed friend Oscar (Jesse Camacho).

From the minute he first shows up and offers them a bottle of wine as a welcoming gift, it’s obvious that there is something off about their new neighbor, Simon (Shaun Benson).  For one thing, he dresses like he’s in a community theater production of The Music Man.  He’s a professor of Men’s Studies at the local university and, when he comes over for dinner, he’s clearly both offended and aroused by the sight of Jessica’s visible bra straps.  Also, he’s likes to wear bowties and we all know that, in a Lifetime movie, bowties often equal evil.

Of course, the main clue that there’s something wrong with Simon comes when he kidnaps Jessica and locks her in his basement.  There’s another woman already living in the basement.  Her name is Robin (Rachel Wilson) and she’s been down in the basement for so long that she’s now in love with Simon.

And did I mention that the basement is specifically made up to look like the 1950s?

Because it so totally is!

What Worked?

Oh my God!  Shaun Benson was sooooo creepy!  Seriously, he gave a great over-the-top psycho performance in this film.  Rachel Wilson did a good job too, poignantly portraying just how brainwashed her character had become.  As well, whoever designed and decorated that basement deserves some sort of award.  It was truly a creepy location.

What Did Not Work?

This is one of those films that should have been an insane masterpiece but, somehow, it never worked quite as well as I wanted it to.  The film could never seem to quite decide whether it wanted to be an over-the-top melodrama or a serious look at abduction, abuse, and brainwashing.  Courtney Ford and Andrew W. Walker did not have much chemistry as the endangered couple and, for the film to work, characters often had to behave in the stupidest way possible.  Even the film’s ending, which was obviously meant to be a big “You go, girl!” moment, felt forced.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

Much like Jessica, I am totally obsessed with true crime and I enjoy trying to solve real-life unsolved mysteries.  I also imagine that, much like Jessica, I would probably break into my neighbor’s house to investigate whether he was a potential murderer.

Lessons Learned

Creepy neighbors should be handled with extreme caution.