Up a Tree

      Richmond-born Aaron Ashmore enjoyed this year's Toronto International Film Festival twice as much as usual -- he appeared in two features that debuted at the fest -- one called Safety of Objects (starring Glenn Close) and another, Treed Murray, which received favourable reviews at its world premiere in the first features category.

      Part action film, part psychological thriller, Treed Murray's opening scene is set in early evening in a city park with a shoving match between advertising executive Murray Roberts and a 14-year-old would-be mugger. When a youth gang emerges from the forest to help out the young thief, Murray escapes to the top of an American beech tree. Then, Murray and the gang leader embark on a war of wits.

      Ashmore (whose twin brother Shawn is also an actor -- he had a role in X-Men) appeared in The Skulls II and has guest starred on the television series Twice in a Lifetime, La Femme Nikita and Emily of New Moon.

      He plays Dwayne in the movie -- the strong, silent right-hand man to the gang leader.

      "This is my favourite character to date," says Ashmore. "It was a challenge because for a large part of the role I was silent. Acting without dialogue can be very difficult, which I enjoyed."

      Treed Murray opens at Granville Cinemas on Friday

Lynne McNamara / Vancouver Sun