Gay-rights activists, protesting California's gay-marriage-banning Proposition 8, declared today Day Without a Gay. Milk made its presence felt anyway.
The Mike Leigh art-house confection Happy-Go-Lucky took two awards, for Leigh, named Best Director, and its British star Sally Hawkins, named Best Actress.
The New York critics don't do Oscar favorites or A-list names just because; they are ruled by their idiosyncratic tastes. In 2006 they named United 93 Best Picture; at the Academy Awards the unflinching 9/11 tale didn't even make Oscar's Best Picture top five.
Maybe appropriately, then, their praise of Milk, a film that stands as tribute to its convention-tweaking subject, the nation's first openly gay man elected to a prominent office, coincided with gay-rights supporters being urged to call in "gay" and stay home from work.
If you're still looking for Pitt, Jolie and Ledger, try tomorrow morning when the Golden Globe nominations report for work.
Here's the complete list of winners: