I have just finished watching the final episode of Dix pour cent (“Le Dix”). I just loved watching all four seasons. The entire fabric of Call my Agent is luxurious. Charm, humour, drama, atmosphere, top-quality acting, this series has it all. It was co-created, co-written, and produced by Dominique Besnehard.
Besnehard managed the careers of many of France’s best actors and directors for over twenty years. He applies that background to tell the story of four actors’ agents struggle to keep a fictitious Paris talent agency, GSK, alive. Its founder has just died, ownership is uncertain, and leadership is controversial. The competing agency would like to eliminate GSK for good. The four partner-agents have professional rivalries greater than those of their clients. Those rivalries and complicated personal lives provide additional complexity and continuity.
Of course, there is sex interwoven throughout. However, it is managed discreetly and humorously. For the most part, we get brief preludes and then we all know what happens.
Additionally, each episode stands on its own. The episodic story lines feature stars of French and international cinema. They portray themselves, but as clients of the agency. We follow the agents as they manipulate the actors and the producers, manage scheduling issues, and, console and cajole their star clients. The agency is part-time baby sitter, dating service, driving school, and domestic employment office. Dix pour cent (10 percent) of client earnings is the fee for service.
The guest actors have included Françoise Fabien, Fabrice Luchini, Isabelle Huppert, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Guy Marchand. Two of the more memorable guest turns were by Juliette Binoche and (Series 2, Episode 6) and Sigourney Weaver (Series 4, Episode 5). Also, the Jean Reno performance in the final episode is brilliant. At the outset, he is self-doubting and miserable. His confidence returns as GSK and its rival compete to represent him.
The acting is first class and features:
My favourites are Camille Cottin as Andréa and Laure Calamy as Noémie. Camille’s Andréa is at times nasty, at times very lovable. She works hard, fights viciously for her clients and the agency, and cherishes her friends. Laure’s Noémie dotes on her boss, Mathias ( Thibault de Montalebert ). Well, she doesn’t just dote on him, she is besotted. She will do anything to protect him.
This series celebrates Paris. Enjoy a ride along its boulevards on a Vespa! Walk in its parks, along tree-lined avenues, and the rue Rivoli! Imagine yourself in the cafés and the restaurants! Read Paris is still Paris! There are the occasional trips to the French countryside and a memorable episode in Cannes. There may be a temptation to use a Netflix translation. Please don’t! Use the subtitles and listen to the quick paced, witty, and almost poetic French dialogue. Become immersed in the overall ambiance.
As I said at the outset, the entire fabric of Call my Agent is luxurious.
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