France stood at the cradle of the European Union and brought it back from crisis time and again — but now it's the French who are turning against the creature they helped conceive after World War II.

A spat that started over a fervent Gallic defense of film subsidies in the face of a globalized Hollywood has mushroomed this week into a dispute that reflects larger troubles with France's economy, and growing frustration with the way an ever-more powerful Brussels is managing the EU.

The dispute is the main undercurrent of an EU summit Thursday and Friday, where French President Francois Hollande will come face to face with the head of the EU's powerful executive commission, Jose Manuel Barroso.