Gretchen Mol and Dermot Mulroney,<EM> The Memory Keeper's Daughter</EM> Gretchen Mol and Dermot Mulroney, The Memory Keeper's Daughter

The channel that branded itself as "television for women" ventures into HBO and Showtime territory with a top-notch adaptation of Kim Edwards' best-selling novel, The Memory Keeper's Daughter (Saturday at 9 pm/ET, Lifetime).

Starring a trio of feature-film actors — Dermot Mulroney, Gretchen Mol and two-time Oscar nominee Emily Watson — director Mick Jackson (The Bodyguard) tells us he "got the sense that [Lifetime] wanted a more ambitious movie as it were, rather than a movie of the week." Jackson signed on as a fan of the book: "It's a real page-turner. It's about secrets and the things people don't tell each other, and I think television, even more than movies, is so well-equipped to get inside [characters'] heads."

In order to attract his "wonderful" cast, Jackson jokes he employed "pleading," adding, "I couldn't see anybody else but Emily — I could look in her eyes and see the world that's behind them." He has praise for his other leads as well: "[Dermot's] performance [is] very, very subtle, and Gretchen has a kind of openness and vulnerability that's quite startling."

Mol also earns kudos for shooting a beach scene in Nova Scotia in December. Jackson laughs, "There was nothing between that polar wind and Gretchen but her bikini." Brrr!

Watch clips of other Lifetime programming in our Online Video Guide.

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