Many of us are looking forward to a long Easter weekend spent with friends, family and, most importantly, our beloved chocolate.
As you sink into the couch this Easter Sunday with your trove of chocolate eggs and bunnies, you can always keep the festive spirit going with an Easter movie or two.
Christmas may be the winner when it comes to holiday-themed movies, but here are a few Easter selections – without a bunny in sight.
Rebel Without A Cause (1955)
James Dean and Natalie Wood. That’s it. That’s all you need to know.
This classic coming-of-age film follows emotionally confused and angsty teenagers as they navigate life in their middle-class, suburban neighbourhood.
It is also one of the first films of its kind to explore intergenerational conflicts between teens and their parents.
While the film doesn’t contain overt religious symbolism, the film starts with Jim Stark (Dean) stumbling down a dark, suburban street on the evening of Easter Sunday.
Plus, James Dean and Natalie Wood.
One of the most celebrated and influential films in cinema to date (to say nothing of the iconic, Academy Award-winning soundtrack), Ben-Hur goes a little heavier on the religious symbolism.
And by that, we mean Jesus Christ is an actual character.
(But for once, he isn’t the star of the show.)
The film follows the titular wealthy Jewish prince, Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston), and his battle with a childhood friend.
Condemned to slavery and forced to watch the persecution of his family, Ben-Hur’s dream of vengeance fuels his survival.
A memorable battle at sea and the famous nine-minute chariot race feature as stand-out scenes from this 11-time Academy Award winner.
A film about a group of teenagers bumming about a shopping centre, and navigating love, sex, break-ups and Easter bunny beatings.
An initial cinematic flop, Mallrats gained popularity over the years since its VHS release and has since become a cult classic.
At the heart of the film is a scene where Jay and Silent Bob attack the Easter Bunny in front of frightened children, after incorrectly assuming he had beaten up their friend Brodie.
Launching the careers of Shannen Doherty and Ben Affleck, Mallrats is the pinnacle of goofy ’90s comedies.
Steel Magnolias (1989)
Steel Magnolias is heralded as one of the most realistic and gritty depictions of women and their unconditional support of one another.
This ‘dramedy’ explores the secrets, successes and losses of a group of women in a small town in Louisiana.
Featuring an all-star cast of Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Olympia Dukakis, Daryl Hannah and Shirley MacLaine, few know the film is based on a true story.
MacLaine said that while it was not a “women’s film”, but “if you’ve got women in your life bring them to see this film and you’ll know much more about them when you go home”.
Themes of life, death and rebirth feature throughout the film, most memorably in an Easter egg hunt where one character goes into labour following the death of another.
“Life goes on.”
Steel Magnolias is the perfect film to curl up with on the couch – just remember to keep a tissue box close by.
Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)
One of the classic Monty Python projects, Life of Brian follows the misadventures of Brian, who was born in a neighbouring stable to Jesus.
Later in life, and in an effort to impress a girl named Judith, with whom Brian is deeply infatuated, he accidentally tricks a crowd into believing he is the Messiah.
Motivated to ditch his new-found followers and reunite with Judith, Brian encounters several hilarious challenges and obstacles.
Life of Brian remains an unmissable Easter epic by one of the world’s most successful and acclaimed comedy troupes.