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

Adventures in Cleaning Out The DVR: Seeds of Yesterday (dir by Shawn Ku)


soy

For this past week, I’ve both been dealing with a sprained foot (and it’s doing much better, thank you very much) and I’ve been cleaning out my DVR.  As I woke up this morning, I realized that I only had four more movies left in the DVR that I needed to watch and review.  So, I decided to jump right into things and I finally watch Seeds of Yesterday.

Seeds of Yesterday serves as a sequel to Flowers in the Attic, Petals on the Wind, and If There Be Thorns.  Like those three previous films, Seeds of Yesterday is based on a novel by V.C. Andrews and premiered on the Lifetime network.  Seeds of Yesterday was originally broadcast on April 12th and, considering how much I enjoyed Flowers and Thorns, I’m not sure why I missed Seeds.  Maybe drugs were involved, who knows?

Anyway, Seeds of the Yesterday continues the story of the Dollangangers, the family that simply cannot stop literally and figuratively fucking each other.  As the film opens, 13 years have passed since the end of If There Be Thorns.  Bart (James Maslow) is now a 25 year-old religious fanatic.  Since learning, in Thorns, that his parents were actually brother-and-sister, Bart wants nothing to do with them.  He has even changed his last name to Foxworth, in honor of his evil great-grandfather, Malcolm.  Bart has rebuilt Foxworth Hall and, on the occasion of his birthday, he invites his estranged family to come visit him.

Jory (Anthony Konechy) is now a ballet star and is married to an emotionally fragile dancer named Melodie (Leah Gibson).  The parents, Chris (Jason Lewis) and Cathy (Rachel Carpani), have finally come to peace with the fact that they are also brother and sister.  And then there’s adopted daughter Cindy (Sammi Hanratty), who Bart considers to be sinful even while he lusts after her.  When all of these people arrive at Foxworth Hall, they are excited to learn that Melodie is pregnant.

Well, everyone’s excited except for Bart.  Bart not only lusts after his stepsister but also after his sister-in-law.  Bart does a lot of lusting in general.

For some reason, Bart has demanded that Jory and Melodie perform a dance from Samson and Delilah at his birthday party.  However, since Melodie is pregnant, she can’t dance.  (“You’re not even showing!” Bart snaps, angrily.)  Instead, Cindy says that she’ll be Bart’s dance partner and, on the night of the performance, a huge piece of scenery falls on Bart and severs his spine.  Bart will never dance, walk, or make love again…

So now, Melodie is depressed and can’t bring herself to even visit Jory in the hospital.  She discovers that Jory will never be able to have sex again so, instead, she and Bart start fucking.  Bart, however, is still lusting after Cindy and complaining that everyone around him is a sinner…

And it goes on like that for about 90 minutes and then the movie’s over.

On a strictly personal level, I enjoyed Seeds of Yesterday because it had a lot of sex, a lot of overacting, a lot of gorgeous clothes, some dancing, and a big mansion.  But, for the most part, Seeds of Yesterday is a total mess that never really makes much sense.  I have not read the original novel but just taking a quick look at its Wikipedia page reveals that a lot of plot and quite a few characters were left out of the adaptation.  Obviously, there’s only so much you can put into an 88 minute movie but, in the end, Seeds of Yesterday still fills rushed and overly busy.  All the characters are so busy scheming schemes and having melodramatic confrontations that you never really get any sort of emotional insight into them.  All in all, Seeds of Yesterday is a disappointing end to fairly entertaining series of films.

That said, we should give praise to James Maslow.  From the minute that Bart shows up, it’s obvious that he’s batshit insane and, for lack of a better term, Maslow “goes there.”  His performance is so enjoyably melodramatic (and, just so there’s no understanding, perfectly appropriate for the material that he’s been given to work with) that he elevates the entire film.