While she enjoyed her time away from the public eye, Nicole Kidman is back with a bang on the big screen.

After a string of movies in the '90s and early 2000s, the Australian beauty had been quiet of late, appearing only in Nine, last year's failed musical, 2007's largely unknown Margot at the Wedding, and Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus in 2006. She retreated to Nashville with husband and country star Keith Urban to raise their now two-year-old daughter, Sunday Rose.

"I now have a whole different set of experiences and emotions I'm willing to mine," Kidman, 43, said to USA Today. "At times, I don't want to work, which is what a lot of my choices have been recently, or I want to do one week in something. But with Rabbit Hole, I knew I needed to do this artistically."

Rabbit Hole, co-starring Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest, tells the story of a mother struggling to cope with the death of her young child. The movie is based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony Award-winning play of the same name. Kidman has already received acclaim for her role, and picked up a Golden Globe nomination for it on Tuesday.

"Nicole found a way to be this brittle outsider and yet found a way for the audience to empathize with the character," Rabbit Hole director John Cameron Mitchell said. "Her character wants to deal with this grief alone, in her own way. Nicole brought a restraint and a subtlety to the role. She has a regal quality. I think of her as this rare creature that comes from another world but is anchored squarely in ours."

The Oscar winner said she really enjoys her lighter schedule because it allows her to spend more time with her daughter. "I was with Sunday having lunch, just the two of us, and I thought, 'I'm so glad I can do this.' I've worked since I was 14," she said. "You need to have the time to just relax."

Rabbit Hole opens to limited release on December 17 and expands nationwide on Jan. 14, 2011. —ISHITA SINGH