Say what you will about Hollywood Elsewhere, but let no man dispute that (a) I am a Reality Fortress, and (b) I’m almost never a go-alonger when the critical community loses its collective shit mind over an auteurist favorite of a dubious caste.

For when it comes to difficult films I am a slice-of-pepperoni-pizza kind of guy and an all-around “man of the people.” Not when it comes to masterpieces like Cold War or cop films like Les Miserables, but in the matter of irritating, eccentric, frenetic-style-for-its-own-sake films.

Case in point: Josh and Benny Safdie‘s Uncut Gems, which I was appalled by when I saw it at last September’s Telluride Film Festival, but which 93% of elite critics dropped to their knees for. Well, compare their Safdie worship with the current Uncut Gems situation: (a) 55% Rotten Tomatoes audience rating and (b) C+ CinemaScore rating.

It’s almost as if critics and Joe Popcorn saw two different films, no? Translation: Many if not most critics live on a secular planet that orbits around Betelguese.

And you know what? The Safdies are going to keep making “crazy Safdie” films. They’re not going to learn from this. Because they live in their own Manhattan echo chamber. And that’s par for the course.