Paul McGann did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Golic in Alien 3.
The film though should not be dismissed anyway though as I was surprised by the strong performances from most of the supporting actors particularly Charles Dance's kind yet troubled doctor, Charles S. Dutton's strong willed spiritual leader of the prisoners, and of course Paul McGann as Golic one of the most troublesome inmates on the planet. At the beginning of the film Golic is a formerly deranged killer, although he has since mellowed out through the religion of the men, but even with that he still seems a bit off to say the least and the other inn mates still do not exactly jump to have to be around him. The role of Golic is technically one of pure insanity even when he is saner at the beginning of the film as he is completely mentally unhinged man, since even among killers and rapists he seems crazy.
This type of role is a ripe one for all sorts of overacting and in most cases it probably would not help that it is also a sci-fi horror film where sometimes actors take an excuse to act extremely poorly. McGann's performance though is a revelation as I think he gives better portrayal of insanity and mental disability than many actors who play those sort of roles in more "serious minded" films. McGann is only ever Golic with this performance as he resists any moment to overact, and even though his portrayal is technically speaking acting at its most extreme you really won't notice it because of how good McGann is in the role. The way he moves, the way he talks, and all of his little physical tics all are made by McGann as part of Golic and it is quite a fascinating performance to watch.
The Alien makes mince meat out of a few of the prisoners with Golic being the only survivor out of the small group of men, and we get a bit of a different horror reaction out of McGann. It's still a reaction of fear, but McGann is remarkable in showing an already deranged man become more deranged. The scene technically is pretty simple as it is just a few men getting killed with Golic having to react and then run away as fast as possible can after seeing the monster. It is made incredibly memorable by McGann keeping with his character in the moment. When Golic runs in from fright it is quite different as the man also reverts at the same time. It's an outstanding moment for McGann as it is fascinating to see him pull off the mental decay of Golic so exceptionally well in his portrayal of the change of Golic.
In the early scene McGann made Golic as quite insane but properly reflected the effect of the prison in him which made him a repressed insanity although still insane. Once Golic sees the alien though McGann holds nothing back in turning Golic into a man completely controlled by his derangement and it is something to behold. McGann turns Golic into a mostly gibbering mess though its amazing because he actually goes to edge without faulting once giving a startling depiction that honestly makes the idea of the alien more frightening through his performance than the alien really is in this film. Golic only continues in the wrong direction when he once again witnesses the monster, who does not kill him and something sets off in him as he seems to worship the alien which McGann is completely convincing in Golic's captivation.
Ripley and the other convicts manage to trap the Alien but Golic sets to free what he sees as his savior of sorts. Again Golic's whole scene could have been nothing but it is astonishing because of McGann's fervent depiction of the uncontrollable craziness. McGann never becomes one note even the character is technically one element but McGann never gives into one set attitude but rather is compelling through the randomness of Golic's mind. One of the most disturbing moments is just before Golic releases the alien as he kills the man guarding the door. McGann does not do cold, but is more disconcerting by showing Golic genuinely repentant toward the act. It might seem bizarre but McGann only leaves it as part of who Golic is.
The role of Golic is actually pretty much a throwaway part, and I find it very easy to see how a lesser performance would have treated the character as just an excuse to act wacky for awhile or really been a completely forgettable character all together. This is particularly noticeable in that apparently in the theatrical release it is just assumed that he dies off screen, and even in the version I saw Golic still is fairly quickly done away with and off screen but with an actual reason. I frankly would have wished for Golic to continue into the film as McGann's performance is such an interesting portrait of insanity to watch. He gives it his all and he only succeeds in giving vivid life to his character's madness.