Canadian critics honour Olsen

Olsen, younger sister of former child stars Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, was named Best Actress for her performance in Martha Marcy May Marlene, triumphing over Hollywood heavyweight Streep (The Iron Lady) and Williams (My Week With Marilyn).

Michael Fassbender topped the male acting honours for his turn in Shame, while Oscar-tipped The Artist was hailed as the best film of 2011, seeing off competition from George Clooney’s The Descendants and Brad Pitt’s The Tree of Life to take the top prize.

Other winners included rising star Jessica Chastain, who was named Best Supporting Actress in honour of her roles in The Tree of Life, Take Shelter and The Help, and Christopher Plummer, who won Best Supporting Actor for Beginners.

Terrence Malick took Best Director for The Tree of Life.