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

Cleaning Out The DVR #3: My Sweet Audrina (dir by Mike Rohl)


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After I finished watching The Bridge on The River Kwai, I decided to watch a more recent film that was on my DVR.  I selected My Sweet Audrina, a film that made its debut, this January, on Lifetime.  Would My Sweet Audrina prove to be as good a film as The Bridge on the River Kwai?  Read on to find out…

I have to admit that, despite my well-known love for over-the-top Lifetime melodrama, I was not particularly enthusiastic about watching My Sweet Audrina.  Though I missed the film when it was originally broadcast, I did see the commercials leading up to it.  “From the author of Flowers In The Attic,” the commercials announced, which led me to believe that My Sweet Audrina would be yet another installment in the Flowers saga.  And don’t get me wrong — I enjoyed Flowers In The Attic and I thought If There Be Thorns had some good moments but, after four movies about that messed up, incestuous family, I was ready to move on.

However, once I started watching the film, I quickly discovered that — despite some definite similarities — My Sweet Audrina has nothing to do with Flowers in the Attic.  True, it does deal with family secrets and sexual repression and a young woman who is never allowed to leave her family’s Victorian mansion but other than that, it has absolutely nothing to do with Flowers In the Attic.

Audrina (India Eisley) believes that she is nine years old but she is actually a teenager.  She spends almost all of her time isolated from the rest of the world.  Her father (James Tupper) refuses to let Audrina interact with the outside world, convinced that she will suffer the same fate that happened to a mysterious figure known as “the first Audrina.”  Audrina’s older sister, Vera (Toni Atkins), is jealous of the attention that their father devotes to Audrina.  She deals with her anger by intentionally injuring herself and having sex with everyone she meets and then taunting the repressed Audrina with the details.  When a handsome piano teacher shows up to give her lessons, Audrina is ashamed when she feels attracted to him and then is angered when Vera steals him away.

Fortunately for Audrina, a very understanding neighbor named Arden Lowe (William Moseley) has fallen for in love with her.  (In what world does a handsome young man fall in love with a strange girl who has no friends, no understanding of the world, and is totally terrified of sex?  The world of Lifetime, of course!)  However, even after marrying Arden, Audrina is still haunted by disturbing nightmares and is incapable of enjoying sex.

Of course, it all comes down to the mystery of what happened to the first Audrina.  And fear not!  All questions are eventually answered.  Of course, the answers don’t really make any sense but I guess that’s kind of the point.  The melodrama of My Sweet Audrina is so pure and unapologetically over the top that it doesn’t have to follow any logic other than its own.

Visually, My Sweet Audrina follows the lushly gothic pattern previously established by Flowers In The Attic.  The sets are elaborate, the clothes are to die for (even Audrina’s supposedly drab outfits have a definite flair to the,), and all of the performers are nice to look at.  India Eisley does a good job as Audrina but, for me, Toni Atkins stole the entire film as the obsessively self-destructive Vera.

For lovers of over-the-top melodrama, My Sweet Audrina is a lot of fun.

And if you’re not a lover of over-the-top melodrama … well, then you probably wouldn’t be watching Lifetime in the first place!

(But, to answer the question I asked at the start of this review, My Sweet Audrina is not as good as The Bridge on The River Kwai.  But it’s still pretty entertaining!)