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As a child, Brussels-born Jérémie Rénier worked with La Rétine de Plateau, the non-profit organization that helps to make Belgian short films and get them shown. After attending circus school, by age 10 he had a role in the multipart Belgian film Les sept péchés capitaux [The Seven Deadly Sins], and starred as Pinocchio at the Mons Royal Theatre.
His big break came with landing the lead role in Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne's La Promesse [The Promise], which won awards all over the world, including Best Foreign-Language Film citations from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Society of Film Critics. He reunited with the Dardenne brothers nine years later to star in L'enfant [The Child], which won the top prize [the Palme d'Or] at the 2005 Cannes International Film Festival and earned Mr. Rénier a European Film Award nomination for Best Actor, among other honors.
His other films include FranÇois Ozon's Les Amants criminels [Criminal Lovers]; Christophe Gans' Le Pacte des loups [Brotherhood of the Wolf]; Jean-Marc Montout's Violence des échanges en milieu tempéré [a.k.a. Work Hard, Play Hard], for which he was nominated for a César Award; Joachim Lafosse's Nue propriété [a.k.a. Private Property], opposite Isabelle Huppert and his real-life brother Yannick Rénier; and, also for Focus Features, Joe Wright's Atonement, opposite Romola Garai.