I feel you on this.
Clearly, it's an excellent rendering but if judging, solely by realism, it falls short.
I was in my third year of University before a professor eased my own tensions over this. She assured me that my artistic choices were guided by a desire to tell a different truth than that of realism. That my stylistic way of thinking/creating was more closely tied to providing an interpretation of reality... not just representing it.
I've carried her words, as a security blanket, against my own struggles against realism since then.
I hope they help you as well.