Hi everyone! I just want to remind you that tomorrow, May 21st, is the last day to submit your nomination for the Gold Sally Awards’ Hallmark Star of the Year. In my most recent Sunset Over Hope Valley post, I mentioned that I would be out of town during the weekend of May 19th. I’m still out of town, so my next Sunset Over Hope Valley post and the results of the Gold Sally Awards will be published later than expected.
This is it; the final division of the First Annual Gold Sally Awards! When I first introduced the Gold Sally Awards back in January, I provided a brief explanation of what the Hallmark Star of the Year is. Now that the time has come for this division to begin, a more thorough explanation is needed. What makes a Hallmark star a “Hallmark Star”? Sure, it can mean a person that appears in a Hallmark movie. But I feel it has to be something more than that. The Hallmark Star of the Year Award is an attempt to answer this question. There are so many people that make Hallmark what it is. However, some of these people don’t always get the recognition they deserve. As I’ve also mentioned, this division is the most interactive category of the Gold Sally Awards. This is true, as you get to decide who will be crowned the first ever Hallmark Star of the Year! Now I will provide more details as to how you can participate!
Who is eligible for a nomination?
In this division, voters are allowed to choose one nominee per person. The people that would be eligible for this award are:
Former and current Hallmark stars
Hallmark Hall of Fame alumni
Members from the business side of Hallmark
Directors, producers, screen-writers, etc. of Hallmark projects
Authors of adapted Hallmark productions
Team members from Home & Family
Animals that have appeared in Hallmark affiliated programs (ex: kittens from the Kitten Bowl)
When deciding on who to nominate, I would kindly encourage you to choose someone who is currently living. The only reason why I suggest this is in the event that your nominee was to visit this blog, I would want them to see how their participation in the Hallmark community has made an impact on Hallmark’s audience/fans.
How do I nominate someone for the Hallmark Star of the Year Award?
It’s a very simply process! All you have to do is write a brief, but thorough explanation for why your chosen nominee is worthy of receiving this title. Here is a template for how to set up your nomination:
Name: (This is pretty self-explanatory)
Connection to Hallmark: (This is where you can say how your nominee is affiliated with Hallmark. If your nominee has worked on more than one Hallmark project, name the most recent project of theirs.)
Nomination: (This is where you get to explain why your nominee should receive the title of Hallmark Star of the Year! For advice on how to create your nomination, consider the letters in the word Star:
S – Has your nominee participated in any community service opportunities? Have they performed a selfless act that you admired?
T – Do you admire your nominee’s talent? Do you believe that your nominee’s talent gets overshadowed or receives the right amount of attention?
A – Has your nominee accomplished something great? Have they earned an achievement that you wish more people knew about?
R – Do you feel that your nominee is under-rated? Do you think that your nominee has received a good amount of recognition?)
Where do I put my vote?
Like the previous voting categories, you can place your vote in the comment section of this post.
How long will this division last?
Voting for the Hallmark Star of the Year Award will begin today, May 11th, and end on May 21st.
I can’t wait to see who you’ve nominated for the Hallmark Star of the Year Award! Happy voting!
Hello everyone! I just wanted to remind you that voting for the Best Ensemble from a Hallmark Channel movie and a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries movie ends tomorrow. The final category of the Gold Sally Awards will begin on the 11th. Happy voting!
For about a month and a half, Hearties everywhere have been patiently waiting for the return of When Calls the Heart. Many people have speculated about what Hallmark would do about the “Abigail situation”, whether she would be replaced or removed altogether. But we, as fans, knew, almost from the very beginning, that the show would return. Last month, in a Word on the Street story, I shared Erin Krakow’s announcement about When Calls the Heart’s return! I also talked about Erin’s second announcement about When Calls the Heart’s seventh season within my review of Bottled with Love. Now, When Calls the Heart is back! Because of this, Sunset Over Hope Valley has returned! With that, let this re-cap of When Calls the Heart begin!
Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of When Calls the Heart, there may be spoilers within this re-cap.
Name: Heart of a Mountie
After an incident at the Queen of Hearts saloon, Bill ended up meeting Hope Valley’s new Mountie, Nathan Grant. Despite his good-natured demeanor and friendly personality, the residents find themselves avoiding Nathan at all costs. This is due to them feeling that Nathan is only there to replace Jack Thornton. When a carriage rolls into town and its carriage driver, Jeb, claims that Lee’s payroll has been stolen, Nathan and Bill are on the case. Lee also volunteers to help them in their quest for the truth. When Nathan and Lee visit the crime scene, they discover the money box and lock in the mud. However, the money is nowhere to be found. Later that day, when Nathan and Bill question Jeb, they discover mud on his boots. This encourages them to revisit the crime scene. As they re-investigate, Bill discovers several inconsistencies in the statements that Joyce and Sheila, Jeb’s travel guests, gave him. This causes Bill and Nathan to speculate that the carriage robbery was staged. When Jeb and Sheila try to run away with the money, Nathan and Bill arrest them. After the robbery ordeal, Elizabeth makes a conscious effort to welcome Nathan to Hope Valley.
As a class assignment, Elizabeth has the students engage in a mock debate. One pair, Anna and Emily, have been given the topic of what the better mode of transportation is. Emily’s argument is for cars, while Anna’s stance is for horses. At first, the debate runs smoothly. But, as the arguments continue, the debate becomes more bitter between Emily and Anna. When Elizabeth makes Emily and Anna stay after class, she explains to them what the purpose of a debate is. Unfortunately, this explanation does nothing to resolve Emily and Anna’s issues, because, the next day, they’re still upset about the debate. Elizabeth makes them stay after school again. But, this time, she asks Emily and Anna if this debate is worth ruining their friendship over. After giving Elizabeth’s question some thought, the two girls apologize to one another.
Even though Carson and Faith have decided to pursue a romantic relationship, they’ve decided to keep it a secret. This is because they don’t want the people of Hope Valley, including Rosemary, to make a big deal about their relationship. When Rosemary does find out about Carson and Faith’s relationship, they explain to her why they’re keeping their relationship a secret. When they ask her to not tell anyone about their relationship, Rosemary agrees to uphold her promise. Earlier in the episode, Lee discovers that Rosemary got a phone. Worried that she might spend too much time on the phone to gossip with her friends, Lee goes to the mercantile, one day, to cancel the household’s phone line. During this process, Lee receives a phone call from Rosemary. After she tells him how much she loves him, Lee decides to keep the household’s phone line. As the episode continues, Rosemary continues to keep her promise to Carson and Faith. She and Lee even coordinate a romantic dinner for Faith and Carson.
After he sees Lucas attempt to kiss Clara on the hand, Jesse proceeds to get into a fight with Lucas. When Clara and Jesse talk about the incident the next day, Clara expresses her frustrations about how Jesse doesn’t trust her. When Jesse goes to Henry about his issue, Henry supports Clara’s point of view instead of Jesse’s. In an attempt to get Clara away from Lucas, Jesse takes a second job at the blacksmith workshop. When he tells Clara this news, she refuses to quit her second job. She claims to love her job and says that Lucas is not as bad as Jesse thinks. Clara advises Jesse to stop being jealous of Lucas and start giving him a chance.
Some thoughts to consider:
I have to applaud the editors of When Calls the Heart for doing such a good job at re-editing the show! I, honestly, had my doubts about how it would look. But the episode ran smoothly, almost as if the show hadn’t missed a beat. I did think it was interesting how this show addressed the “Abigail situation” within the first five minutes of the episode, with Elizabeth explaining what happened to Abigail and Cody in a voice-over. How this explanation carries over into the Christmas movie will also be interesting. Will Hope Valley receive a new mayor? Is a new character going to be introduced to the series?
I have to say that I’m proud of Rosemary for choosing to keep her word! She has come a long way since her introduction in the first season, which has allowed her to grow as a character. The writers of When Calls the Heart have done such a great job at incorporating her into the overall story. Pascale Hutton has also done a fantastic job at bringing this character to life! I can’t wait to see Rosemary’s story unfold throughout the rest of the season!
As engaging as the main story was, I thought it was a little predictable. When Joyce and Sheila made their statements to Bill, I knew that they were lying. Sure enough, I was right about that. It would be totally cool if When Calls the Heart incorporated more mysteries into their plots, especially if the mystery took place over the course of several episodes. This would bring a sense of intrigue and audience engagement into the show.
Are you glad that When Calls the Heart has returned? What are you looking forward to seeing this season? Leave your thoughts in the comment section!
Today is the day for the last acting division of the Gold Sally Awards to begin! In these polls, you will determine which is the Best Ensemble from a Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film! Like with the previous polls, you are only allowed to vote once per person. But you are allowed to vote for more than one nominee. Your votes can be placed in the comment section of this post. This round of the Gold Sally Awards will conclude on May 10th. After that day, two casts will receive the title of Best Ensemble from the Gold Sally Awards!
Best Ensemble from a Hallmark Channel Movie
Royally Ever After
The Beach House
Cooking with Love
Once Upon a Prince
Wedding of Dreams
Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa
It’s Christmas, Eve
When Calls the Heart: The Greatest Christmas Blessing
A Gingerbread Romance
Best Ensemble from a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Movie
Because I was participating in Easter festivities, I didn’t get around to reviewing Easter Under Wraps over the weekend. However, I was able to watch the movie on the Monday after Easter. When I discovered that Hallmark was creating their first Easter movie, I was so excited! I even talked about the film in a Word in the Street story last month. As I shared the movie’s official synopsis in that post, I expressed my feelings of disappointment about how it sounded. To me, the premise felt like it would focus more on the corporate side of Easter than the holiday itself. But I still chose to watch the movie with an open mind and give it a fair chance. Did Easter Under Wraps disappoint or triumph? I’m glad you hopped on over to this review, as we’re now about to find out!
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: The cast of Easter Under Wraps is, so far, the strongest I’ve seen in any Hallmark movie this year! Every actor and actress did such a great job at portraying their characters, making them feel like real-life individuals. From the lead stars to even the only prominent child actor in the cast, all of the performances seemed so natural and genuine. This helped the characters maintain a sense of likability. It also helped me stay invested in what was happening to the characters. The acting was one of the things that made my movie-viewing experience so enjoyable!
The on-screen chemistry between the characters: In most Hallmark films, the on-screen chemistry between the lead characters is emphasized. This is partly the case with Easter Under Wraps. Fiona Gubelmann and Brendan Penny’s on-screen chemistry was really good! What helped make this on-screen relationship feel so genuine was the quality of Fiona and Brendan’s performances. A pleasant surprise in Easter Under Wraps was the on-screen chemistry between all of the characters. The various relationships in this film were not only portrayed well by the actors, but they were also well-written. This component helped make the story that much more interesting.
The writing: In Easter Under Wraps, the writing was such a great element to this narrative! Through the movie, conversations amongst the characters felt like real-life conversations. The comedic timing in this film was perfect, making the funnier moments feel effective. All of the sub-plots blended in really well with the main plot. Easter Under Wraps was an engaging movie because of how good the writing was. This component elevated the story into a truly memorable narrative!
The messages and themes: Like any Hallmark movie, Easter Under Wraps was filled with good messages and themes! These pieces of the story added to the relatability of the movie. Characters learning about personal growth, incorporating important traditions, and effective problem solving can be found in this film. Something that I found interesting was how chocolate was included in Easter Under Wraps. While the main plot revolved around a chocolate factory, the characters found ways to attach interesting messages to the candy itself. It, honestly, made me think about chocolate in a different way.
What I didn’t like about the film:
Lack of Easter specific messages and themes: Because this is Hallmark’s first Easter movie, I kind of figured this would be an issue. While Easter Under Wraps had good messages and themes, they really didn’t correlate directly with the Easter holiday. A few of these messages and themes were sprinkled into the story, but they weren’t explored as thoroughly as I had hoped. If Hallmark continues to create Easter themed movies (which I hope they do), I hope they take the time to explore the messages and themes that the Easter holiday has to offer.
My overall impression:
For their first Easter themed movie, Hallmark did a really good job with Easter Under Wraps! While there were a few “Hallmark movie clichés” in this film, the overall quality of the other components made me overlook them. There was so much about this movie that I liked, from the acting to even the festive decorations. This is, so far, the best Hallmark movie I’ve seen this year! I really hope that Hallmark continues to make Easter themed movies, as there are some interesting stories that can be told. I also wouldn’t mind if this movie got a sequel, since it definitely has the potential for another chapter. There’s no doubt that I had an egg-cellent time watching Easter Under Wraps!
Overall score: 8.6 out of 10
Which 2019 “Spring Fever” movie was your favorite? Would you like to see more Easter themed movies from Hallmark? Let me know in the comment section!
Hi there! The time has come for the arrival of the Gold Sally Awards’ Best Supporting Actor division! For these set of polls, you will decide which actor will receive the title of Best Supporting Actor in a Hallmark Channel Movie and Best Supporting Actor in a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Movie. Like the previous polls, you will be able to vote for more than one nominee. However, you can only vote once per person. All votes can be left in the comment section of this post. Voting for the Best Supporting Actor division will end on April 29th.
Best Supporting Actor in a Hallmark Channel Movie
Dewshane Williams – One Winter Weekend
James Brolin – Royal Hearts
Preston Vanderslice – Cooking with Love
Barry McGovern – Royally Ever After
Rob Kipa-Williams – Pearl in Paradise
Dennis Haysbert – Christmas Everlasting
Cole Gleason – Christmas at Pemberley Manor
Laurie Murdoch – It’s Christmas, Eve
Nicholas Banks – Christmas at the Palace
Giles Panton – A Gingerbread Romance
Best Supporting Actor in a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Movie
Bill Dow – Marrying Father Christmas
Giles Panton – A Godwink Christmas
Jordan Dean – Christmas on Honeysuckle Lane
Mark Humphrey – Christmas Bells Are Ringing
Curtis Tweedie – Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: The Disappearing Game
Edward Ruttle – Garage Sale Mysteries: Picture a Murder
Viv Leacock – Hailey Dean Mysteries: 2+2=Murder
Chris William Martin — Garage Sale Mysteries: Murder in D Minor
Geoff Gustafson – Darrow & Darrow: In the Key of Murder
Hi everyone! I just wanted to remind everyone that the last day to vote for the Gold Sally Awards’ Best Supporting Actress from a Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries movie is on April 18th. The next round of polls will begin on April 19th. Have fun voting!
Here at 18 Cinema Lane, I talk about Hallmark films quite a bit. So, it makes sense that I would choose to review Bottled with Love! This is not the first time I have talked about this film, as I reported on this movie in a Word on the Street story two months ago. I also shared my thoughts on the film’s synopsis in another Word on the Street story from last month. There are two reasons why I wanted to see this movie; 1.) Because, for some reason, Hallmark decided to over-hype this movie by claiming that it’s “the best movie you’ll see all year”, so I wanted to see if this movie could live up to Hallmark’s hype and 2.) In the When Calls the Heart Behind-the-Scenes featurette that I talked about in this month’s Word on the Street story, Erin Krakow said she would be making an announcement during the film. Did Bottled with Love meet Hallmark’s expectations? What was Erin’s announcement about? Find out the answer to both of these questions by reading this review!
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: For the most part, the acting performances in this film were good! As usual, Andrew Walker delivers a performance that appears natural and believable. No matter if he’s given a starring role or a supporting character, Andrew always finds a way to shine in every project he’s cast in! I also liked Bethany Brown’s performance! Her portrayal of Abbey’s friend, Elaine, was such a joy to watch, as her on-screen personality helped make this character likable. This is also the same way I felt about Frances Flanagan’s performance as Aunt Frances. The acting within Bottled with Love was entertaining to watch!
The cinematography: I was pleasantly surprised by the overall quality of Bottled with Love’s cinematography! There were a few scenes where the sun reflected off objects, such as the bottle that Abbey’s message was placed in. I thought the incorporation of the scene’s natural light was very interesting. The use of close-ups in this film was interesting as well. This is something that Hallmark doesn’t often do in their films, so the close-ups of some of the actors’ faces was something that I wasn’t expecting. While watching Bottled with Love, I felt like I watching a feature film!
Some of the film’s unique touches: When I first shared the synopsis for this film a month ago, I talked about how I thought the story sounded interesting because of the amount of creativity that was being presented. As I watched Bottled with Love, I found a few unique touches in the movie that I really liked! The aspect of the message in a bottle is something that Hallmark doesn’t often include in their films, so it was nice to see some creativity incorporated into this story. I also liked seeing an apple orchard during the spring season instead of the fall season. I’ve never seen a “Spring Fever” movie feature an apple orchard, so I thought that was a unique approach to this particular story!
What I didn’t like about the film:
Weak on-screen chemistry: While both Bethany Joy Lenz and Andrew Walker gave a good acting performance, I did not think their on-screen chemistry was very strong. Sure, it was ok. But I’ve seen stronger on-screen chemistry from other on-screen couples in recent Hallmark films. During Bottled with Love, I never sensed an on-screen spark between Bethany and Andrew. This made the romantic aspect of the story seem a little less believable.
An inconsistent pace: Throughout Bottled with Love, I found the overall pace to be inconsistent. Some scenes felt more drawn-out than others, which caused them to feel a little bit boring. I noticed this happened in the scenes that took place at the office, whenever Abbey and Nick were at work.
Lack of mystery: In Bottled with Love, the audience knew the entire time who found Abbey’s message in a bottle. This is the same problem that My Secret Valentine had, where the identity of the protagonist’s secret admirer should have been kept a secret until the last few minutes of the film. Had Bottled with Love kept the identity of Abbey’s pen pal a mystery for not only the protagonist, but also for the audience, I feel that it would have made this story more intriguing.
My overall impression:
For a short while now, Hallmark has been over-hyping Bottled with Love. They claimed that it will be “the best movie you’ll see all year” and had one of the stars of the movie say that critics are describing the film as an “instant classic”. After looking past all of the hype, I discovered that the film was just decent. Bottled with Love felt no different from any other Hallmark movie. In fact, it almost felt like a repeat of My Secret Valentine. By Hallmark choosing to over-hype this movie, I think, to a certain extent, it hurt the credibility of the film. Now, on to Erin’s announcement, the moment Hearties have been waiting for! It was nice to hear Erin Krakow say that When Calls the Heart will be receiving a seventh season! While I’m not surprised by this news, I am glad that the show will continue.
Overall score: 7.2 out of 10
Have you seen Bottled with Love? How do you feel about this news relating to When Calls the Heart? Share your thoughts in the comment section!
If you’ve looked at the movies that I reviewed in March, you would notice that I’ve been in a movie reviewing slump. Out of the four movies that I reviewed, I thought only one of them was good. The rest were ok. So, since it’s been a month since I last talked about a Hallmark Channel movie, I decided to review A Brush with Love! Out of all the movies that are included in the “Spring Fever” line-up, this movie was not one of my most anticipated. While I was curious about the art aspect of the film, the story itself didn’t sound as intriguing as some of the other movies. However, I was happy to see that Arielle Kebbel had been cast in a Hallmark production. The last movie that Arielle starred in was 2015’s Bridal Wave. Was her return to Hallmark a triumphant one? Put on your art smock and get your paint palette ready, it’s time to review A Brush with Love!
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: I really enjoyed seeing the various acting performances throughout this film! Everyone did a good job portraying their respective characters. Nick Bateman gave such a strong performance in A Brush with Love, especially since this was his first starring role in any Hallmark movie! He definitely added enough charisma to make his character as likable as he was. It was also nice to see Arielle Kebbel return to the Hallmark community as one of the lead protagonists in this movie. Her performance came across very naturally, which helped her character appear relatable. The acting was absolutely one of the strengths of this film!
The incorporation of Spring-time: The season of Spring was incorporated into this story very well. From the scenery to the props, everything looked and felt like it was an appropriate fit for this particular time of year. I also liked the overall color palette that was found throughout this film. Almost everything was bright and cheery, helping to keep this story upbeat during the more light-hearted moments. It’s interesting to point out that this color palette complimented the season that was found within this movie. This added to the consistency of the over-arcing theme.
The idea of a “vision board”: A “vision board” is a concept that has rarely been seen in a Hallmark production. Because of that, I think this idea was a very interesting choice for the creative team behind this movie to incorporate in this specific story. Not only that, but the “vision board” itself was tailored to compliment the main protagonist’s passion; art. I found this detail to be creative and something that I hadn’t thought of until I saw A Brush with Love. Yes, I was aware of what “vision boards” were. But I wasn’t aware of the different ways that a “vision board” could be created. This movie showed that there is no set way on what a “vision board” should look like.
What I didn’t like about the film:
The “vision board” in a small role: When I read the synopsis for A Brush with Love, I was led to believe that the protagonist’s “vision board” would play a large role in this story. But, in the overall context of the film, it felt like the “vision board” was just a component to a subplot. To me, it seemed like the story focused more on Jamie and Max’s growing relationship. When it came to the “vision board’s” inclusion, it was very disappointing.
The art school expansion subplot: In A Brush with Love, Jamie was planning on expanding her art school to more than one location. Within the overall story, this subplot didn’t make as big of an impact as the other subplots. While it made sense in the grand scheme of things, it kind of seemed like it was there for the sake of filling up the film’s run-time. It also seemed like this subplot just provided a reason for the protagonist’s parents to be featured in the narrative. I ended up not being impressed with this particular subplot.
A slower pace: Throughout this film, I found the pace to be on the slower side. This pace did effect the quality of the movie, causing some scenes to feel longer than they might have been intended. While the pace wasn’t as slow as in other movies I’ve seen, it could have been faster.
The conflict: I won’t spoil anything if you haven’t seen this movie yet. But I was not a fan of the conflict that happened toward the end of the movie. It seemed like that part of the story was incorporated into the overall narrative just to give the main characters a reason to get upset. Because of this conflict, it caused one of the protagonists to make a decision that felt very egotistical. This appeared so out-of-character for that particular protagonist, especially since they had never displayed any behaviors or actions that came across as self-centered. I understand that the creative team behind this film was trying to do something that other Hallmark projects don’t often do. However, I don’t think that creative decision worked in this story’s favor.
My overall impression:
Despite the flaws, I think that A Brush with Love was a good, sweet film. Overall, this story was better than I thought it would be. There were several strengths that this movie had, such as the acting performances. This whole cast was really good, from the lead stars to all the child actors. That aspect of the film added to my enjoyment of the movie! Even though my favorite film from Hallmark Channel’s “Spring Fever” line-up, so far, is Flip That Romance, A Brush with Love is still a solid movie. I would recommend it not only to people who like Hallmark projects, but also to people who like the inclusion of art in their stories.
Overall score: 7.7 out of 10
Have you seen A Brush with Love? What is your favorite “Spring Fever” movie so far? Tell me in the comment section!