March 29, 2017

Elizabeth Olsen wins Best Actress at Ghent Film Fest – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell Elizabeth Olsen, the breakout star of Sean Durkin’s mysterious Sundance hit “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” won the Best Actress award at the 38th annual Ghent Film Festival, it was revealed on Wednesday.

Olson plays Martha, an impressionable woman who falls under the watchful eye of a charismatic cult leader (John Hawkes), but manages to escape and find solace with her sister (Sarah Paulson) and brother-in-law (Hugh Dancy). But how safe is she? We’re never 100% sure.

In the lengthy lead-up to Oscar nominations, any and all recognition counts, so an award from the Ghent fest helps Olsen’s chances at competing in what is shaping up to be a packed Best Actress field.

Fox Searchlight has been calculating the film’s awards strategy since its Sundance bow. “Martha Marcy” made stops at film fests in Cannes, Toronto, Sydney, San Sebastian, Rio de Janeiro, Vancouver and – most recently – New York. It opens in limited release this Friday, Oct. 21, before going wider later this year.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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