12:40 pm Update: The New York Film Critics Circle has just handed its Best Actor prize to Milk‘s Sean Penn, its Best Foreign Film award to Cristian Mungiu‘s 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days , and its Best Documentary award to James Marsh‘s Man on Wire.

11:45 am Update: The New York Film Critics Circle has just handed its Best Supporting Actress award to Vicky Cristina Barcelona‘s Penelope Cruz, who took the same honor yesterday from the L.A. Film Critics Association. And Frozen River director Courtney Hunt won for Best First Film.

11:25 am Update: Oh, my God — Happy Go Lucky‘s Mike Leigh has just been named Best Director by the New York Film Critics Circle. What is this? Are the New York crickets going to give HGL their Best Picture prize also? It’s a fine, well-made film as far as it goes, but c’mon…it’s not some drop-dead masterwork teeming with visual splendor. It’s just a lively, well-honed thing about a woman who drives people crazy with her happy vibes.

Previously: The New York Film Critics Circle began voting around 9:45 am, and they’e given Sally Hawkins their Best Actress award for her performance in Mike Leigh‘s Happy Go Lucky, and Milk‘s Josh Brolin has won for Best Supporting Actor. And WALL*E, of course, for Best Animated Film.

Hawkins won the same award yesterday from the L.A. Film Critics Association, and Brolin was nominated in the Best Supporting Male category yesterday morning by the BFCA.

I’m okay with Hawkins’ win, but at the same time not quite overjoyed. As I’ve said several times, I admire Hawkins talent and pizazz but loathed her HGL character. On top of which Kate Winslet‘s Revolutionary Road performance has gotten blanked, blanked and blanked again. Why is this happening? And what about poor Kristin Scott Thomas? Something’s really and truly not right here. Meryl Streep, Melissa Leo, Anne Hathaway and Kate Beckinsale have also been elbowed aside.

It’s interesting that the BFCA didn’t even nominate Hawkins. No accounting for taste in either camp.

10:35 am Update: Rachel Getting Married screenwriter Jenny Lumet has taken the Best Screenplay award, and Slumdog Mllionaire‘s dp Anthony Dod Mantle has won for Best Cinematography.

Incidentally, in 1956 the New York Film Critics Circle gave its Best Picture prize to….wait for it….Around the World in Eighty Days. It was bad enough that the Academy gave this nothing film its Best Picture Oscar, but the NYFCC? A major historical embrassment.

And in 1938 the NYFCC gave its Best Picture award to King Vidor‘s The Citadel. Until this moment I’d never even heard of this film, much less seen it on DVD. Robert Donat, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Richardson, Rex Harrison, etc..