Second chances start when a hardened criminal crosses paths with a precocious little girl who is helped by an angel to change hearts during the holiday season.
In a stellar debut performance, young Scarlett Diamond manages to captivate the screen and steal the hearts of viewers as Lucy Shimmers; a precocious, kind-hearted 5-year-old with strong faith in Jesus, and a desire to do His work. Operating based on a dream the Lord gave her, and the advice from her deceased-turned-angel Grandpa Jackson (Shawn Stevens), Lucy feverishly works on a book she entitles Lucy Shimmers and the Prince of Peace, featuring a character she calls “the sad man.” When Lucy suddenly becomes ill and winds up in the hospital, she sets about her work of spreading the love of Jesus to everyone — including “the sad man,” a stubborn prisoner with kidney failure named Edgar (Vincent Vargas).
The unlikely friendship between Lucy and Edgar transforms his life. As things begin to turn around for him, sadly, things fall apart for Lucy. Touching the hearts of everyone she meets, and remaining a strong witness for Christ even during her illness, Lucy is a prime example of the words of the prophet Isaiah, “a child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6). Lucy’s resolute, child-like faith teaches the adults around her to know Christ in a deeper, more meaningful way than ever before. Perhaps the most powerful lesson Lucy teaches is in a scene of conversation with her father, James (Adam Hightower), in which she questions “if Jesus can love him, why can’t we?” Her innocent and bold question raises one for believers everywhere: If Christ is not selective in who he loves, why are we?
Now, I’m going to warn you … Lucy Shimmers and the Prince of Peace is an absolute tear-jerker. I mean full on baby sobs. The production quality and writing are excellent, and the performances by Diamond, Stevens, and Vargas stand out as especially memorable. There are some flaws with the film’s theology, what with the grandpas-turning-into-an-angel angle, but the trope serves as a great base for events in the story and moving the plot along. Watching the relationship between Grandpa Jackson and Lucy is very touching, and at least the filmmakers got one bit right: angels do minister strength to believers (Hebrews 1:4). Overall, Lucy’s character is a powerful example for children and adults alike; God can use anyone, anywhere, for any work … we simply have to have faith and obey.
There are some heavily emotional scenes, especially a really heavy death scene toward the end of the film, which could be disturbing for some younger viewers. The film has plenty of positive character arcs, great examples of integrity (supporting family, parents who train their child up in the faith, etc.) and is sure to be a new Christmas classic in many households.
For all these reasons and more, we award Lucy Shimmers and the Prince of Peace the Dove Seal of Approval for All Ages.
The Dove Take:
Lucy Shimmers and the Prince of Peace is an inspiring, heart-wrenching tale that is sure to become a new Christmas classic.