Raising Victor Vargas

Director: Peter Sollett

France/USA| 2002| Drama| 87 mins

Sixteen-year-old Victor Vargas lives in a New York apartment with his brother Nino, their half-sister Vicki and their grandmother Mrs Guzman. After Victor meets Judy Ramirez, he is determined to seduce her, but she is less than enthusiastic. Her brother, Carlos, has a crush on Vicki but, needless to say, the self-possessed young girl is not remotely interested. In the midst of all this, their grandmother is doing her utmost to raise the family according to a strict Catholic morality, and she is convinced that Victor is a corrupt influence.
This is an understated, humorous coming of age story that is centred on the false macho stance of Victor who thinks he can get anything that he wants. Needless to say, he has to learn that this is far from the case. Writer-producer-director Peter Sollett draws us into the overcrowded Lower East Side world of the family, in which each person moves gradually towards some kind of self-knowledge.

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