Whenever a stage musical heads to the big screen, it’s standard practice for a new song or two to be added in order to make the film eligible to be nominated for the Oscar for Best Original Song. The filmmakers can claim whatever artistic justifications that they can, but we all know the real reason. Les Misérables is no different on this count. While all of the original’s many, many songs (It’s basically sung-through, like an opera), have been retained, they’ve also added a new one: “Suddenly.”
In this featurette, from the movie’s official YouTube channel, director Tom Hooper, along with producer Cameron Mackintosh (who also produced the musical) and composer Claude-Michel Schönberg explain the process of creating this new song. They’ve picked a good place to put it, for a new sequence that wasn’t in the original play, but which was in the novel by Victor Hugo. In the play, the story skips forward a decade or so after main character Jean Valjean rescues the child Cosette from indentured servitude. In the movie, “Suddenly” will play to a scene, which, from this featurette, appears to be a montage, that shows how Valjean and Cosette form a bond with one another.
So how good is the song? Does it measure up to the rest of the musical’s soundtrack, and, more importantly, fit in with it? It’s difficult to tell, since we hear only snippets of it in this video. We’ll find out when Les Misérables comes out on Christmas Day. For now, take a look at this featurette, and see what you think. “Suddenly” is all but guaranteed an Oscar nomination, whether it deserves it or not.