Credit: Claudette Barius/Universal; Lacey Terrell/Sony; Hilary B. Gayle/Lionsgate

Awards season is always good for some surprises, but one thing that remains constant is the attention bestowed on transformative performances.

Voting bodies like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (which presents the Oscars) and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes) often reward big, showy performances or ones where the actor becomes nearly unrecognizable. Recent examples include Gary Oldman's transformation into Winston Churchill for Darkest Hour and Eddie Redmayne's turn as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything (both went on to win Best Actor at the Oscars, Golden Globes, and the British equivalent of the Academy Awards, the BAFTAs).

In the latest episode of EW's The Awardist podcast, cohosts David Canfield and Shana Naomi Krochmal are joined by EW features editor Clarissa Cruz to break down this year's crop of transformative performances and their awards chances, including Joaquin Phoenix in Joker, Charlize Theron in Bombshell, and Tom Hanks in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. David also speaks with one such contender, Lupita Nyong'o, who talks candidly about the challenges of acting opposite herself in Us, her close collaboration with director Jordan Peele, and more.

This week we also take a look at the recent controversial disqualifications of two films in the International Feature Oscars race, the films vying for Best Documentary Feature recognition, and the announcement that Robert De Niro will receive the Screen Actors Guild's Life Achievement award. Plus: Shana, David, and Clarissa will make more bold picks for the year.

Listen to the full discussion below, or on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. <iframe frameborder="0" height="200" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%" class="" allowfullscreen="" resize="0" replace_attributes="1" name=""></iframe>

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