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: Wish Upon A Christmas (dir by Terry Ingram)


After finishing up with A Gift-Wrapped Christmas, it was time to move onto the final Lifetime Christmas film on my DVR, Wish Upon A Christmas.  Wish Upon A Christmas premiered on December 13th and, much like Becoming Santa, The Flight Before Christmas, and Last Chance For Christmas, it features Santa as a matchmaker.

Well, maybe it does.  Though he has the beard and the jolly attitude, the film is somewhat ambiguous as to whether or not Mr. Tomte (Kevin McNulty) is actually Santa Claus or not.  The facts certainly suggests that he may be.  Before Mr. Tomte shows up in town, Danny (Dylan Kingwell) does make a wish that Santa could bring his single father, Jesse (Aaron Ashmore), a girlfriend.  And then, one night, a bright light flashes in the sky and there’s an explosion in the distance as something crashes to the ground.  Was it a meteorite or was it Santa’s sleigh?  Who can say?  But Danny does come across a silver bauble that Mr. Tomte is somewhat desperately searching for.  Is it just a family heirloom and or is it, as Danny suspects, filled with the magic that allows Mr. Tomte to fly his sleigh?

Meanwhile, Jesse is the much beloved owner of a company that makes hand-crafted ornaments.  He inherited the business from his parents and Jesse is a big believer in tradition.  Despite the fact that it’s cutting into profits, he insists that every ornament be hand-made and that his workers take their time to make each one perfect.  His workers are so happy that they even hum Christmas carols while they’re working.

Unfortunately, the big mean corporate world does not understand what makes Jesse’s business so special.  They send efficiency expert Amelia (Larisa Oleynik) to inspect the company and make some recommendations.  Much like George Clooney in Up In the Air, Amelia makes her living by firing people and convincing them that it’s for their own good.  However, as soon as Amelia arrives in town, she finds it difficult to do her job.  For one thing, she grew up in the town and she’s always had a crush on Jesse.  Secondly, it turns out that she’s not as cold-hearted as she believes.

So, will Amelia fire everyone at the factory?  Or will Danny’s wish come true?

Well, you already know the answer.  This is a Lifetime Christmas movie and there’s nothing really surprising about it.  However — and yes, I do realize that this has become a reoccurring theme when it comes to my Lifetime Christmas movie reviews — Wish Upon A Christmas is such a sweet and good-intentioned film that it would really be silly to be overly critical of it.  You know what you’re getting when you watch a Christmas movie on Lifetime and Wish Upon A Christmas delivers.

Add to that, Kevin McNulty makes for a very likable Santa.  Next year, he should co-star in a movie with The Flight Before Christmas‘s Brian Doyle-Murray in which they play the competing Santa brothers.  It’ll be fun!