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: Last Chance For Christmas (dir by Gary Yates)


After I watched The Christmas Gift, I continued to clean out the DVR by watching Last Chance For Christmas.  Last Chance for Christmas originally aired on Lifetime on December 6th and it took me a second viewing to realize that, as far as Lifetime holiday movies are concerned, Last Chance For Christmas was actually pretty good.

Annie (Hilarie Burton) lives in a small town in Alaska, along with her daughter Madison (Lola Flanery).  Annie owns a reindeer farm, which is her inheritance from her father.  The bank is eager to foreclose on her and take the farm away from her.  It’s all because Mr. Buckley (who is somewhat inevitably played by Tim Matheson) wants to build a ski resort on her property.

Desperate but still defiant (which is why I liked her), Annie is understandably paranoid when John (Gabriel Hogan) suddenly shows up on her doorstep and says that he needs to borrow one of her reindeer.  She assumes that John must be working for either the bank or Mr. Buckley.

Which she doesn’t know is that John’s boss lives up north.  For the past 15 years, John has worked for Santa Claus (Derek McGrath).  John is in charge of the stables and taking care of Santa’s reindeer.  When Prancer cracks a hoof, it’s crisis time at the North Pole.  As John explains it, without Prancer, it could take three to four months to deliver all of the presents.  John even suggests that they may have to delay Christmas or cancel it altogether…

That’s when Mrs. Claus (Jayne Eastwood) steps forward and announces that, under no circumstances, will Christmas be canceled.  As she puts it, the children will get their gifts “by any means necessary.”  John is sent into the human world, instructed to track down a replacement reindeer.  And he thinks that he’s found one on Annie’s farm.

The problem, of course, is that the reindeer — named Frankie — is Madison’s favorite.  As John slowly starts to win Annie’s trust (and as he and Annie fall in love), he realizes that he cannot bring himself to take Frankie away from Madison.  However, when he explains this to Mrs. Claus, she tells him that the needs of the many outweighs the needs of the few.  If John isn’t willing to steal Frankie then maybe Mrs. Claus will have to come do it herself…

And really, the portrayal of Mrs. Claus as being the ruthless head of a crime syndicate was perhaps the best thing about this film.  It was so unexpectedly dark and almost cynical.  As well, Jayne Eastwood was obviously having a lot of fun playing this very unsentimental version of Mrs. Claus.

Beyond the subversive portrayal of Mrs. Claus, Last Chance For Christmas was a genuinely entertaining film.  Hilarie Burton and Gabriel Hogan made for a cute couple, Lola Flanery gave a blessedly non-cutesy performance as Madison, and the snowy scenery was nice to look at.  All in all, Last Chance for Christmas is a perfect example of the correct way to do a holiday movie.