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RAISING VICTOR VARGAS

The goal of Victor Vargas, a skinny, smart-mouthed teenager, is to be the hottest stud on New York's Lower East Side. But he’s got a way to go.


CAST: Victor Rasuk, Judy Marte, Melonie Diaz, Altagracia Guzman, Silvestre Rasuk, Krystal Rodriguez, Kevin Rivera, Wilfree Vasquez, Donna Maldonado, Alexander Garcia, John Ramos

DIRECTOR: Peter Sollett

"The 16-year-old Victor (Victor Rasuk) of ‘Raising Victor Vargas’ is all teenage assertion, but his machismo has training wheels. He may be a smart boy, but at this point in his life he's too busy trying to be a wiseguy; he hasn't engaged his brains just yet. In the director Peter Sollett's delicate and altogether satisfying romantic comedy, it is Victor's puffed-rice pride that always gets him into trouble…Mr. Sollett's accomplishment is the film's matter-of-fact solidity; he makes you wonder what his creations are doing when they're off screen. Such a level of achievement is almost unheard of in veteran filmmakers, let alone in a director's first feature-length film. It is what reminds us that we're seeing something special. Mr. Solett communicates his affection for his characters to us, and it's one we come to share." --Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times

"One of the few recent movies to show teens in ways that hit home emotionally was Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Y Tu Mama Tambien,’ and now there’s another one, more modest, to be sure, but remarkably winning and nuanced just the same. ‘Raising Victor Vargas,’ the first feature from 27-year-old writer-director Peter Sollett, is a comedy in the best sense—it draws its life from the pitch-perfect authenticity of its characters." --Peter Rainer, New York Magazine

"It’s hotter than a match head on the Lower East Side and the teenage hormones belonging to the titular protagonist of ‘Raising Victor Vargas’ are afire. The object of his desire is ‘Juicy Judy’ (Judy Marte), a young hottie who draws catcalls and wolf whistles just walking down the street, and Victor (Victor Rasuk) sets about wooing her with all the restraint of a steam engine at full tilt…What lifts Sollett's film above the run-of-the-mill boy-meets-girl tale is its genuine sweetness and Sollett's ability to effect a striking authenticity." --Megan Lehmann, The New York Post

"For all their bravado, teenagers still face the uncertainties and anxieties of establishing relationships with the opposite sex, and it doesn't seem to matter which ethic group is involved. That's the key to the charm and warmth of ‘Raising Victor Vargas,’ which focuses on the life of a 16-year-old Hispanic teen, played engagingly by Victor Rasuk. Peter Sollett has directed the film from his own screenplay based on a story he co-wrote with Eva Vives, and the film was chosen as a selection in the New Films/New Directors series presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art… Sollett obviously loves his characters and his approach makes it possible for us to become enamoured of them too. The scene in which Victor and Judy finally reach out to one another in their own private world is beautiful to behold. Sollett has made an entertaining and perceptive film." --William Wolf, Wolf Entertainment Guide

"Real, sweet and often really sweet, ‘Raising Victor Vargas’ is ultimately about the masks people wear, in order to be who they want to be. When they find who they are, the masks come off--if, of course, they're lucky enough…if Sollett nails anything, it's the pathetic desperation of the male adolescent sex drive…Victor Rasuk is a magnetic Victor; Victor's brother, Nino, played by Rasuk's brother Silvestre, is just as good." --John Anderson, Newsday