Ten Percent review: High-profile cameos make this gentle Call My Agent remake worthwhile

The British cameos, including Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West, are broad enough to make this reimagining of the French hit worthwhile

Nick Hilton
Thursday 28 April 2022 12:46 BST
Lydia Leonard, Prasanna Puwanarajah and Maggie Steed in ‘Ten Percent’
Lydia Leonard, Prasanna Puwanarajah and Maggie Steed in ‘Ten Percent’ (Rob Youngson)

As the adult child of divorced parents, I know that there are very few things that can bring the estranged threads of my family together. But one of them, it has emerged over the last year thanks to Netflix’s lockdown hit, is the French satire Call My Agent! And the entirety of my extant antecedents were not alone in falling for this show about a bumbling actors’ agency. The whole world seemed, miraculously, to embrace subtitles and obscure references to Paris’ cultural milieu. So, naturally, it was only a matter of months before an English-language adaptation was rushed to our screens.

Ten Percent (Amazon has opted for a literal translation of the French title, Dix pour cent) follows the agents of Nightingale Gray, a London-based talent agency led – briefly, I’m afraid – by Jim Broadbent’s avuncular Richard Nightingale. Around him rotate a coterie of subordinates: his cynical son Jonathan (Pirates of the Caribbean’s Jack Davenport), ruthless Rebecca (Gentleman Jack’s Lydia Leonard), dopey Dan (Line of Duty’s Prasanna Puwanarajah), millennial Ollie (Twitter’s Harry Trevaldwyn) and others.

What ensues is a cat-and-mouse game between the agents and their clients (played, predominantly, by actors appearing as themselves). “I can’t lie to her obviously…” Dan announces to his fellow agents after Kelly Macdonald loses a big gig for being too old. “No…” they chorus, in reply. “But obviously I can’t tell her the truth…” he continues, to which, with a certain pantomime quality, the meeting room responds: “No!”

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