I am generally suspicious of "star-studded" casts; that five, ten, or even twenty actors would all agree to participate in an independent film speaks not so much to the quality of the project but the current vogue of Hollywood actors wanting to create for themselves "indie" cred. And TV cred. And stage cred. So on and so forth like little Mexican jumping beans they go, from one acting platform to the next, building the versatile resume of an A-grade 21st century star. But perhaps the star-studded cast is less for resume building and more for rubbing elbows between the established and the new, the young and the old, the Hollywood icon and the crossover hit. Or maybe everyone's just feeling sentimental.
Some combination of the above theories might explain the strange amalgamation that is Nine Lives, with tearjerker experts Glenn Close, Kathy Baker, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Holly Hunter, Robin Wright Penn, Amy Brennerman, and Dakota Fanning reading dutifully from a script that seems to have been drafted during an Oprah post-show party.