Meats features an unlikely triumvirate of characters: a vegan woman, a butcher, and the whole lamb carcass that brings them together. Writer/Director Ashley Williams also stars as Lane, a young woman who walks into a butcher shop to pick up an order. At the outset of the film, we know virtually nothing about her character, just that she is buying some meat, and seems oddly emotional about the experience. Over the next few minutes, she hems, haws, and starts to ramble her way through processing her emotions, which turn out to be quite complicated. Lane is a militant vegan, and not just militant, either. She’s an obnoxious vegan who goes around the country talking about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. The trouble is, she’s also a pregnant vegan, and the fourteen week old fetus is making her crave meat like never before. As she unloads her personal problems on the dumbfounded yet polite butcher, Chris (Giancarlo Sbarbaro), the film becomes a short yet compelling exploration of the ethics of meat consumption. Lane wrestles with her the competing forces of a having a body that was built to feed on the flesh of animals, a brain that tells her it’s wrong, and a creature living inside her that is more important than anything she might think. Together, Lane and Chris laugh, cry, and butcher their way through a moral quandary that is equal parts thoughtful, humorous, and more than a little bit gross.
Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 Stars