Lifetime’s ‘Five’ looks like can’t-miss project

The trailer that Lifetime ran for “Five,” the cabler’s film anthology about the impact of breast cancer that premieres Oct. 10, was simply as intense as you’ll find.

“This may be the most important film we’ve ever done,” Lifetime and History topper Nancy Dubuc said in introducing the project, which features segments directed by Jennifer Aniston, Alicia Keys, Demi Moore, Patty Jenkins and Penelope Spheeris.

The ensemble includes Patricia Clarkson, Rosario Dawson, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Holloway, Jennifer Morrison, Kathy Najimy, Bob Newhart, Annie Potts, Tony Shalhoub, Jeffrey Tambor and Jeanne Tripplehorn, who plays the oncologist who ties all five parts together.

“I had the full experience,” Tripplehorn said at the Television Critics Assn. press tour.

The trailer was typical in its construction –- say about a couple dozen snippets packed into a couple of minutes or so -– but the power of one moment after another to hit that emotional part of you was almost shocking.

Aniston is exec producing with Marta Kauffman, Paula Wagner, Kristin Hahn, Kevin Chindy and Francesca Silvestri. Some wondered how Kauffman, most famous for long-running laffer “Friends,” ended up on such a serious project, but the point of “Five” isn’t to be funereal from start to finish.

“When we are in the most extraordinary circumstances, we react in one of two ways,” Kauffman said. “Either we completely freak out, or we go toward humor. I tend to go toward humor – it’s my upbringing, it’s what I know. This is not irreverent, it’s not nipple jokes, it’s about women and in some cases their family members and their partners in extraordinary circumstances, and when you raise the stakes enough, it can be funny. It can be funny when a woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer still has to deal with her mother.

“The humor isn’t slapstick. … It’s character humor and humor out of this very intense time in one’s life.”

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