Set in the conservative suburban neighborhood of Suburbicon in 1959, the story is loosely based on an actual incident of racial unrest in Levittown, a planned community outside of Philadelphia. The story also combines a fictional tale of home invasion, murder, and deception within the picture-perfect town. With its confusing shifts in tone between dark comedy, social commentary, satire, and violent crime, the movie was a critical and box-office failure.
The spanking scene
The scene, which was played up in the press prior to the film's release, proved to be as disappointing as the film itself. Gardner (Matt Damon) marries Margaret (Julianne Moore), the sister of his deceased wife (also played by Moore). The couple's unhealthy relationship is symbolized by their unconventional, kinky sex life. One of Gardner's kids hears strange sounds (spanking and moaning) coming from the downstairs rumpus room. When the lights are turned on, we see Margaret bent over a ping-pong table and Gardner holding a ping-pong paddle. It's implied that the couple was engaging in doggie-style sex combined with spanking.