Oct-Dec 2010 Screenings
Raising Victor Vargas
2003 - Peter Sollett - 88 - U.S.A
Fri 19 Nov 2004 at 8.30pm
Astor Cinema, Scariff
Midnight Court Rating: 4.8 (8 votes)
Storyline: Manhattan's gritty, majestic Lower East Side is the sweltering romantic playground for Victor Vargas (Victor Rasuk, a self-styled teenaged Casanova who, despite his adolescent hubris, has a lot to learn about love. Eager to protect his street-cred after his friends discover he's been sleeping with upstairs neighbour 'Fat Donna' (Donna Maldonado), Victor sets out to nab a new girl. Much to her annoyance, popular 'Juicy Judy' Ramirez (Judy Marte) finds herself the object of Victor's relentless attention. After a humiliating series of public rejections, Victor strikes a bargain with Judy's younger brother Carlos (Wilfree Vasquez). In exchange for a date with Victor's younger sister, Vicky, Carlos will help Victor win Judy's affections. His plan proves successful and Judy agrees to tolerate him as 'her new man,' securing Victor's place high atop the neighbourhood's social pecking order. Unfortunately, his hilariously cantankerous old-school grandmother (Altagracia Guzman), with whom he and his siblings live, is convinced that Victor's teen-age sexual antics make him a bad kid. Caught between regaining his grandmother's trust and helping his kid brother and sister negotiate the oft-baffling ways of the world, Victor discover that there's a difference between acting like a man and becoming one. As he and Judy slowly start to trust and be trusted, Victor learns that a lot of love has been put into raising Victor Vargas.
Peter Sollett's feature debut is a stunning piece of filmmaking that carefully explores the stumbling blocks of growing up, capturing adolescence at its most tender, funny and genuine. His script was developed through the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, a prestigious program which offers emerging artists the opportunity to work intensively on their feature film scripts with the support of established screenwriters. Sollett also extensively workshopped the film with the support of La Cinéfondation in Paris.
“Sexy and cool in all the right ways.” - Dazed and Confuzed
“One of the most charming and honest films in the country just now.” - The Guardian
“A delight, fresh, funny and utterly genuine.” - Time Out
Winner - Dauville Film Festival 2002
Winner - San Sebastian Film Festival 2002
Verdicts from the Midnight Court