In 1912 England, a naval cadet is expelled for petty theft; his father (Nigel Hawthorne) bankrupts the family and ruins his own health in an effort to clear the boy’s name. Writer/ director David Mamet adapts Terence Rattigan’s play (inspired by a real-life case) into a meticulous, careful film, prim and emotionally arid. Mamet has an American street kid’s view of Edwardian Englishmen as a lot of overdressed cold fish; under their stiff upper lips, his Winslow family seems only mildly interested in how the case will turn out. Hawthorne subtly undermines Mamet by managing to suggest an emotional life to his character, and Jeremy Northam, as the family’s high-powered barrister, has the keen eyes and cool, coiled authority of a master duellist. Other performances are impeccable but inert.