Dealing with Latino teenagers, Peter Sollett’s largely successful Raising Victor Vargas (2002) is a serious, casual, charitable picture with themes.  The themes are the hardship of raising highly imperfect children when you, the guardian, are too demanding and a bit of a crank; the lure of young love as fearful as it is inexorable; and the odd, fascinating vicissitudes of life.  For a 27-year-old director-writer, Sollett has done something indubitably impressive.  Non- and semi-professionals make up the fine cast, and canny control lies behind the multiple shots.  Sollett’s script is character-driven and unsentimental.

Cover of "Raising Victor Vargas"

Cover of Raising Victor Vargas