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Bullock, Bingham do Austin proud at Oscars

Chris Garcia

Austin made a good showing Sunday night at the Academy Awards, with resident Sandra Bullock winning best actress for her spunky mother role in the sports melodrama "The Blind Side" and Austinite Ryan Bingham sharing the best original song Oscar with co-writer T Bone Burnett for "The Weary Kind."

Bullock said she had an "incredible ride" and praised her fellow nominees: Meryl Streep, Gabourey Sidibe, Helen Mirren and Carey Mulligan.

"The Blind Side," directed by Longview native John Lee Hancock, was also a best picture nominee.

Bingham and Burnett's "The Weary Kind" is the theme song of the movie "Crazy Heart."

In his acceptance speech, Bingham thanked his wife, saying he loved her "more than rainbows," and raised his trophy in salute to the late Austinite Stephen Bruton, who coached "Crazy Heart" star Jeff Bridges to play a washed-up country singer. Bridges won the best actor award for his performance.

Bruton also had worked with Burnett on the film's music before he died of cancer in May.

Bingham's win came just after University of Texas alumnus Wes Anderson's "Fantastic Mr. Fox" lost to Pixar's "Up" for best animated feature. "Fantastic Mr. Fox," a stop-motion adaptation of the Roald Dahl children's book, was considered a long shot against the more conventional "Up." Anderson, a Houston native, earned a degree in philosophy at UT in 1990.

Several Oscar nominees made their local premieres at Austin film festivals last year. The Iraq war drama and best picture winner "The Hurt Locker," up for nine Academy Awards and winner of six, played South by Southwest in March 2009. The Coen brothers' "A Serious Man," also nominated for best picture, showed at Fantastic Fest in September. And best picture nominees "Precious," "Up in the Air" and "An Education" screened at the Austin Film Festival in October.

"The Messenger" also premiered at the Austin Film Festival. Its co-star Woody Harrelson, a Midland native, was nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar. He lost to Christoph Waltz, who was in "Inglourious Basterds."; 445-3649